Can you use Federal Pell Grant to pay off a debt at another school?

The Federal Pell Grant is just one of the many different ways students can get through college during times of financial instability. It is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education and by far is one of the most appealing of all the grants available out there for the taking, specifically because as a loan, it does not require the borrower to pay back any amount whatsoever.

Yes, you read that right. The Federal Pell Grant is essentially free money. A Get-Out-of-College-Free card, so to speak, that is given to any and all qualified individuals for use with academic purposes during times of need. It can be used by a college student to pay for his or her college tuition fees as well as for various education costs like textbooks and other miscellaneous school expenses.

As you can imagine, many people would like the chance to benefit from the Federal Pell Grant and so there are certain requirements that must be met by all applicants before they are deemed worthy of the grant.

How much does one stand to receive through the Federal Pell Grant? Not a whole lot, as it turns out, but it’s still something that can be put to good use, especially by those who really need financial assistance. Adding the fact that it doesn’t even have to be paid back only adds to its appeal as a very useful grant that should not be overlooked by anyone.

The amount given through a Federal Pell Grant is usually just under $5,000 at most, but even this small amount can be used to pay for college tuition fees and to buy collegiate materials like textbooks and other things. Even though it is just a small amount, it can prove to be instrumental in a college student’s journey toward graduation.

So how exactly does one qualify for the Federal Pell Grant? Qualifying for a Federal Pell Grant isn’t like qualifying for a loan that takes credit scores into consideration.

In fact, credit loans have absolutely nothing to do with Pell Grants. Qualifying for a Pell Grant is based on an individual’s financial standing first and foremost, and several other things which will be mentioned below.

First, an applicant must be an undergraduate student that is currently enrolled in an approved course. Applicants must possess either a high school diploma, or GED, or at least be able to show how he or she will benefit from receiving the grant.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident, or an eligible non-citizen with a Social Security number. Finally, applications are more likely to be approved for those who have family incomes of less than $40,000 per year.

In case you were wondering whether you could use a Federal Pell Grant to pay off a debt at another school or not, the answer is no. If you currently owe money to a school, that means you aren’t currently enrolled. And as written above, the Federal Pell Grant is only given to undergraduate students who are enrolled at the time of application.

This means that the Federal Pell Grant won’t be able to help you unless you are already studying for your bachelor’s degree in college.


  • 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.