Before you go ahead and start planning on receiving any sort of Pell Grant aid for the upcoming school year, it is actually a very good idea to quickly go over the following this quick FAQ so that you can gain some clarification on any unresolved questions you may have about this grant.
The included Pell Grant FAQ was put together in an effort to try and briefly answer the most common questions that students have about this award, and we hope that you can turn to this when you need need answers to your frequently asked questions about the Pell Grant and other types of Federal Aid.
What is a Pell Grant?
It is a need-based federal grant that is given annually to undergraduate students from across the United State of America.
How do I apply?
You apply by filling out a FAFSA by the appropriate deadlines. The FAFSA, or free application for student aid, is the government’s universal application for financial aid, and by filling one out you will automatically be putting yourself in contention for this award.
What is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA is the application you must fill out to apply for this grant each year. FAFSA stands for free application for student aid, and it can be filled out either online, or via in written form.
What is EFC?
EFC stands for expected family contribution, and it is calculated upon your completion of the FAFSA. The EFC is supposed to be a direct indicator of the amount of money your family can contribute towards you college education, and it is taken into consideration when determining both your eligibility for the Pell Grant, and the actual amount you are able to receive.
How do I become eligible?
Whether or not you can gain a positive eligibiliy status depends on a number of factors, and they are typically broken up into two categories. First off, your EFC must be below the current prevailing threshold for the current school year.
Second, you must satisfy a litany of award requirements that have to do with things such as your U.S. citizenship, the school you’re attending, the degree program you’re participating in, and your criminal record. See the list of requirements that are provided on this site for greater clarification.
What is the maximum amount of funding that I can receive?
The maximum grant amount for the current school year is 6095 dollars (3,047.50 dollars/ semester)
How is the amount I receive determined?
The actual amount you receive is determined by your school’s financial aid office by using certain formulas that take into account several factors.
Your EFC, the cost of attendance of going to your school, and your enrollment status play the most significant roles, although other factors may come into play such as the amount of available funding your school has been given for that particular year.
What happens to my funding if I withdraw from a class or classes?
The award can be fractionally prorated in regard to your enrollment status, so if it changes before you have actually received any aid from a the grant, the amount you receive will simply be altered accordingly by your school’s financial aid office.
If your enrollment status changes after you have received the proceeds you will most likely have to pay back what the difference is, and if you don’t you may risk having an overpayment on your record, and this can make you ineligible for any sort of future federal aid.
Will my enrollment status and the amount of credits I take affect the amount of funding that I can receive?
Yes, the amount of grant-money you can receive is fractionally pro-rated in accordance with your enrollment status.
How long can I receive this award?
You can receive the Pell as long as you are satisfying the appropriate requirements and can qualify for the grant on an annual basis. You can still receive one if it takes longer than expected to complete your degree, you just need to maintain satisfactory academic progress at your school.
What is SAR?
SAR stands for Student Aid Report, and it is the report you receive upon completion of your FAFSA. It should contain information about your eligibility status, and it should specify your EFC.
What is CoA?
CoA stands for cost of attendance, and it is the overall cost of attending your school of choice. It is used to determine the amount of federal funding you are able to receive upon becoming eligible for federal student aid.
Do I have to pay back the funding I receive from my Pell Grant?
No, because it is a grant you never have to pay it back unless you withdraw from classes by certain deadlines after you have been credited with the award’s proceeds.
Where can I find the official application?
The official application is the FAFSA, and you can find it online at the official FAFSA website, fafsa.ed.gov. You can also request a written form of the FAFSA by going to your school’s financial aid office, going to fafsa.ed.gov, or by calling the number 1-800-4-fed-aid.
How will I receive the aid from my grant?
You will receive the proceeds from your award either directly by a deposit in your student account, or via a credit towards your student account balance. Most schools will then allow you to request a cash-release if you have any sort of additional funds in your student account after your tuition and other expenses have been paid.