Some students find it difficult to acquire higher education because of the huge finances they are expected to pay as tuition and other related fees. There are so many financial aid programs that have been established to help reduce the financial burden on students. And one such program is the Pell Grant. In this article, we will be discussing how to apply for a Pell Grant and all you need to know.
Pell Grant is one of the most popular and widely recognised financial aid programs that students can tap into. We will tell you everything you need to know about Pell Grant which includes the purpose and the eligibility requirements that must be in place before you will be qualified to apply for Pell Grant. The tips you can use to increase your chances of qualifying for assistance will be highlighted.
What Is A Pell Grant?
This is one of the federal government grant programs provided based on the needs of the people used to provide financial assistance to undergraduate students who are in school to pursue their first bachelor’s degree. Pell Grant is funded by the United States Department of Education with the aim of providing financial assistance to low-income students. This financial assistance will cover the cost of their tuition, fees and any other related educational expenses.
List Of Eligibility Requirements Needed To Obtain A Pell Grant
Before you will be considered for a Pell Grant, there is a list of requirements that must be met to make you eligible for the grant. The following are the requirements needed to be eligible to apply for a Pell Grant.
For any student to apply for a Pell Grant and get approval, there must be a known financial need. Pell Grant is not given to people without any financial need. The financial need of the applicant is determined by the information provided on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA considers some factors such as family size, income, and assets to assess an applicant’s financial need.
One of the eligibility requirements to apply for a Pell Grant is that you must have been enrolled or accepted as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program at a participating institution.
U.S Citizenship Or A NonCitizen That Has Attained Eligibility Status
To apply for a Pell Grant, you must either be a U.S. citizen or a United State national, or an eligible noncitizen with a valid Social Security number.
One of the requirements you must meet before you will be qualified to apply for a Pell Grant is that you must be an undergraduate student who has not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree yet.
How To Apply For Pell Grant
The following are the steps needed to apply for a Prell Grant.
Complete The FAFSA
This is one of the steps you must follow to apply for a Pell Grant. The first step is to fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA has an online form which can be completed on fafsa.ed.gov and the form is always available from the 1st of October each year. You are expected to provide and fill in accurate and up-to-date information regarding your family size, finances and other details as may be required.
Review And Correct
Reviewing and correcting your Student Aid Report (SAR) is one of the steps you need to take to apply for a Pell Grant. This step comes after you have submitted your FAFSA form. You have to carefully review it to check if there is any error or omissions. If there is, it gives you the opportunity to make the necessary corrections where it is needed.
The next step on how to apply for a Pell Grant is to go for institutional verification. It should be noted that this step is always meant for some applicants, who need to provide additional documentation to confirm the accuracy of the information provided on the FAFSA.
Notification And Award Letter
During this step, you will receive an award letter from your university or college indicating the amount of Pell Grant funding you are eligible to receive.
Tips You Can Use To Maximize Your Pell Grant
We will be looking at a few tips that may be helpful and will help you to maximize your chances of receiving the maximum Pell Grant award. See the tips you can use when you want to apply for a Pell Grant
Ensure You Apply Early
Applying early is one of the tips you can use when you want to apply for a Pell Grant and maximize it. You need to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible after October 1st so as to make sure that you don’t miss any deadlines. Also, it has been observed that some states and institutions have limited funds, so it is important you submit early.
Provide Accurate Information
One of the tips to maximize your Pell Grant when you apply for a Pell Grant is to ensure that all the information provided on your FAFSA is accurate and up to date. Cross-check your income figures and other details to avoid potential errors or delays that may occur when processing your application.
Ensure You Maintain Your Eligibility
For you to continue to qualify to receive the Pell Grant, you must ensure that you meet the satisfactory academic progress requirements of your institution and you must reapply each year by submitting the FAFSA.
Explore Other Financial Aid Options
The Pell Grant is one of the substantial sources of assistance but the truth is that it may not cover all your educational expenses. So you need other funding options to make up and some of the options are:
- You can apply for a federal work-study program
- You can apply for student aid or a student loan program.
- You can apply for a scholarship
- You can get a part-time job
- You can also consider getting supplementary gift aid with student loans.
How To Use Pell Grant Funds
Every university or college uses their student’s FAFSA information to create a student aid award letter or package that details the types and amounts of aid awarded to you. Once you are eligible for the Pell Grant, you will be considered. The next thing you should do is follow your school’s aid acceptance instructions.
The funds from Pell Grant are delivered directly to your college, most of the schools split the Pell Grant into two payments ( which is usually once per semester). Your college will first use your Pell Grant funds to pay for your outstanding tuition fees and then transfer the remaining balance to your account.
Limitations Of Pell Grant
You can use your Pell Grant funds wisely. Ensure you maintain your eligibility so that you will be able to apply for future aid. One of the major requirements you must meet to qualify for financial aid is satisfactory academic progress. Your school determines your satisfactory academic progress and if it is not considered satisfactory, you may lose your financial aid funds. Also, your Prell Grant. As a student, you are only allowed to receive up to twelve (12) semesters or six (6) years of Pell Grant awards. So to enjoy this, it is important that you keep your studies on track.