Pell Grant Eligibility
To become eligible for the Pell Grant, students must complete and submit the FAFSA application online or through US mail. The FAFSA, also known as the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, calculates how much students are expected to contribute towards their education. The FAFSA takes into consideration:
1) Family Income
2) Total Number of Family Members in School
3) Cost of Attendance
4) Total Financial Aid Award Amount
The number one factor when determining a studentís Pell Grant eligibility is the family income level. A student must be considered low-income in order to be eligible for the Pell Grant. Students with other family members attending school, cost of attendance, and other financial aid awards are also taken into consideration, but Family Income is the most important factor.
Students with a family income level of $30,000 or less have a good chance of receive some type of Pell Grant aid. In previous school years, 76 percent of all students receiving a Pell Grant had an income of $30,000 or less.
Due to recent federal legislature, the family income level that guarantees a student will receive a Pell Grant award has changed from $30,000 to $23,000 due to large federal government budget deficits.
Also, Independent students make up more than half of all students receiving assistance under the Pell Grant program. Independent students represent students that cannot be claimed by parents or legal guardians on their taxes.
Students must also meet the below requirements in order to be eligible to receive the Pell Grant:
1) Attend school at least half time or more
2) Attend a Title IV approved education institution
3) Has not been incarcerated
4) US Citizen that has received either a GED or high school diploma
Once the FAFSA has been completed and submitted either online or through US Mail, students will be notified by their schoolís financial aid office of the total Pell Grant award amount. The total Pell Grant award amount is based on the students EFC, also known as the Expected Family Contribution. Students that are unable to contribute towards then education will receive an EFC score of 0 and are eligible to receive the full Pell Grant amount. Students with a low EFC score will also be eligible to receive the Pell Grant, but may not be eligible to receive the full amount.
Students must attend school at least half time or more in order to be eligible for a Pell Grant. Students that receive a Pell Grant, but drop below half-time status will be required to repay any Pell Grant amount received prior to dropping below half-time student status.