What Colleges You Can Use a Pell Grant for?

Higher education gives you a lot of opportunities. You will be able to find a better-paid job and pursue a more fulfilling career after you graduate. Higher education is expensive, but there are a lot of ways in which you can get financial aid. You can get a Pell Grant provided that you are a student from a low-income family who is on an undergraduate course. There are some requirements that your college has to meet as well.

In general, all types of colleges can participate in the Federal Pell Grant Program. You can get this scholarship if you are a student in a 4-year liberal arts college, community college, junior college, career college, or a university.

The only other condition regarding the educational institution is that it has to participate in the Pell Grant program. The information about their participation is on the website of every college.

The duration of the course you are enrolled in is not relevant. You can be on any summer, 2-year, or 4-year program or any other course that leads to a degree or to the receipt of a diploma or certificate. Both full-time and part-time students are eligible for the funding. However, if you pursue a second bachelor’s degree, you are not eligible for a Pell Grant.

Basically, you can get this grant from any college, provided that it participates in the program for it. It is not uncommon for students to choose a school based on the funding they have available. If this is the case with you, you should take into account a number of factors.

The maximum Pell Grant that a college student can be awarded is $5,550. You will get two equal portions of this sum for each of the two semesters during the school year. Still, if your expected family contribution (EFC) is zero, this sum will be lower. Additionally, part-time students usually receive smaller sums than full-time ones.

It is common practice for colleges to apply the money you receive to your tuition fees (cost of attendance) directly. Thus, you should check the size of these expenses for the different schools you are considering.

The maximum Pell Grant is insufficient to cover the tuition fees of most liberal arts colleges and universities, so you have to look for additional funding.

However, the grant can fully cover the cost of attendance at a community college. In this case, you might even have money left to yourself. Your school is obliged to disburse the remained directly to you. In turn, you can use it to cover any expenses related to your education. You can buy a new computer, get a card for public transport, pay for your lunches at school or even cover childcare expenses.

Generally, if you want your Pell Grant to cover your tuition and to get an overage, you have to look for a school with a lower cost of attendance.

Irrespective of the college you choose, you should apply for a Pell Grant as early as possible to get the funding on time.


  • Hussain Shoaib

    Hussain Shoaib is an author and digital marketer with expertise in financial aid and education. He has extensive knowledge of the Pell grant and FAFSA, and has published numerous articles on these topics.

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2 thoughts on “What Colleges You Can Use a Pell Grant for?”

  1. I want to apply for grant but don’t know how it works. I’ve already submitted my completed form for financial aid.


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