Does financing a car affect pell grant eligibility negatively?

Nowadays, attending college and finishing a degree could prove to be difficult. Because of continually increasing tuition fees, most students coming from middle-class to lower-class families find it nearly impossible to finish college. There are a number of parents that cannot sustain their children’s schooling which is why these students still have to get part-time jobs for additional sustenance. College is not a simple walk-in-the park just like how we see it on TV and in the movies. For those who are struggling to keep on studying but are hindered by financial difficulties, financial aid such as the Pell Grant is there to help. The federal government together with various educational institutions has come up with these aids and Pell Grant is one of the student financial aids that kids depend on.

To qualify for a Pell Grant, the student must pass a certain set of Pell Grant eligibility requirements. Basically, this financial aid is need-based, thus, the applicants must be able to prove that their income and that of their families are low enough for them to be able to receive a grant. Other factors such as how many children in the family are attending college at the same time are also considered.

Applying for a Pell Grant requires students and parents to apply through the FAFSA or Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Applicants must fill up the online application form and prepare copies of necessary documents such as income tax returns, bank statements, social security numbers, and the EFC which stands for Expected Family Contribution. Once the FAFSA application is approved, applications will be entitled to a Pell Grant.

Now aside from college fees, some students consider having their own car. For some of them, having your own car can actually be considered a need rather than just a mere want. Obviously, as a student, you cannot buy a new car by paying cash. So car financing becomes the most common option for those who want to get a new car but cannot afford to pay for it at once. However, car financing works on commission and interest. It may seem lighter on the pocket because of the installment payment basis, but if you sum it up, you will be shocked at how much the price of the car has almost doubled.

Now, you are probably worried that financing a car will affect your Pell Grant application. Before you frown, think back as to why you are applying for a Pell Grant. That’s right, you are not well-off and you cannot pay for your tuition fully. Thus, given your financial situation, companies that offer car financing will most likely not pay any attention should you try applying for car financing.

If you acquired the car financing before you applied for a Pell Grant, then it will definitely imply that you can pay for your tuition fee without the need for any financial aid. However, your qualification for a Pell Grant is mainly based on your income and your family’s. If your income is considered acceptable, then you still have a chance of being granted a Pell Grant because FAFSA has no business with your other payables. Car financing and any other financing have no bearing when it comes to your grant application as long as your income is low enough to qualify for the grant.


  • 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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