How Do You Know If You Meet The Federal Pell Grant Requirements?

How Do You Know If You Meet The Federal Pell Grant Requirements?
Photo by Alan Levine – CC BY 2.0

One of the most popular ways to pay for school is through the federally funded Pell grant. This grant is given to students as a way to help them pay for school and is also a grant that does not need to be paid back upon completion of schooling. However, it is not simply given out to those who apply for it. Rather, certain Pell grant requirements are set to determine who will and who will not receive this aid. The following list explains some of those requirements.

Be A Citizen
One of the biggest Pell grant requirements is the citizenship requirement. All individuals who are eligible to take Pell grant monies must be a citizen of the United States or what is known as a qualifying non-citizen. Qualifying non-citizen often include those who are becoming naturalized of those who are seeking asylum from certain countries. These details can change from year to year as can the list of eligible non-citizens. The best way to know if you will qualify is to contact a financial aid department or the Department of Education.

File Your Taxes & Paperwork
You will not be eligible for any federal student aid if you have not filled out your taxes. This is because information on your taxes is used to fill out a document that is known as the Federal Application for Student Aid or FAFSA. If you have not filed your taxes you will be unable to apply for the FAFSA and will automatically be denied aid. Remember, too, to fill out the FAFSA early. Because funds are limited, filling out your FAFSA will put you ahead of others in the aid pool. Further, it will allow you to know earlier what monies are available to you and allow you to pick and choose what you want to take or not take, including the Pell grant. Be sure to take your time in filling out this detailed document and seek help for any questions that may arise. Remember, with no taxes and no FAFSA, there will assuredly be no Pell grant.

Have Need
The Pell grant is primarily based on financial need and how much money you can contribute to your education. Through a process completed at the Department of Education, the FAFSA is used to determine whether need is present or not. Having a need for financial help is one of the Pell grant requirements and if it is not there, you simply will not be able to get the grant. Fill out your FAFSA carefully to assure that the Department of Education’s calculation and assessment are correct. Any errors could mean that financial aid could be denied.

Program
For students, the Pell grant is only available at the undergraduate level of education. If you are a graduate student you will not be able to receive this type of aid, though other federal monies may be available. Further, if you are not in a degree seeking program or at a qualifying institution, Pell grants will be denied. To assess whether or not you meet these Pell grant requirements, contact your school and ask them whether or not they are eligible to receive Pell grant monies and whether or not your program of interest qualifies.

Time To Begin
Now that you know these Pell grant requirements, you can better prepare yourself to begin the process of receiving this type of aid. Make sure that you research online for when the FAFSA will be available and fill it out immediately. That way you will definitively know if you meet all of the Pell grant requirements.

Second Pell Grant Award
The Pell Grant calculator can be used in estimating the amount you will receive. The great thing with Pell grant is that you could enjoy it again in the second year. You only need to have received 100{8e6cf663dd8bbfda1f4fdd38af84969e57c1756d87f56947f5c326d1d8b26fdc} of the first Pell Grant award. Some schools also have a requirement that the student must be enrolled in a minimum number of units for the term/semester that the second Pell Grant is to be received, and complete a higher number of units for the academic year.

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