Federal aid can be a Godsend for many students looking to finance their education. Understanding how to get it, however, can be frustrating and complicated. From loans to grants to scholarships, there are many options available and navigating through the financial aid world can be extremely difficult. It is important to know that help is available. In an attempt to help you better know what is available, the following discussion focuses on one form of aid available: the Pell grant. This federal grant is not given to everyone so you need to understand your Pell grant eligibility.
Your eligibility for the Pell grant will not be affected by the bankruptcy of your parents even if their income information is being used by you in submitting application, and that information can still be used to apply for private loans. This is also the case if you are the one filing for bankruptcy. However, private loans for education will be affected by bankruptcy, as the credit record is one of the things used in determining Pell grant eligibility.
Where Are You From?
Pell grant eligibility is partially determined by your citizenship status. It is usually only given to U.S. citizens; however, there are some exceptions to this rule. Certain non-citizens, including naturalizing individuals and those seeking asylum from certain countries, may be eligible for the award. Because this information changes from year to year, if you are not a U.S. citizen by birth, assuredly check with your college of choice and gain more details about your citizenship status in this process.
Know Your School
Only certain schools and institutions are eligible to receive federal Pell grant monies. Be sure to check with schools you are applying for to see if they are able to receive this grant. If they are not, then you, too, will be ineligible to receive the federal Pell grant.
Not all students are eligible to receive the Pell grant, even if other students at the institution are. You must be entered into a degree seeking program and be an undergraduate in order to receive these federal monies. If not, then you will be automatically disqualified with no recourse. Check with your institution to see if you are entering a qualifying program.
Like much of federal financial aid, the need must be present. If you have an adequate amount of funding for school or are perceived to have it, you will not be eligible for the Pell grant. The Pell grant is based partially on a student’s ability to pay for schooling so if you are determined to have sufficient funding, you will not be awarded this grant. How financial need is determined will be explained further on this discussion.
The most important thing for you to do in order to receive the Pell grant is to fill out the federal application for student aid (FAFSA). This document is free from the government and can usually be filled out quite quickly. It is a document that, using information input by the student from taxes and financial documents, determines what funding you have to pay for school and how much need you are considered to have. Processed by the Department of Education, no student will receive any financial aid without this document. It is a required document for federal loans and grants alike and can be found by visiting the website www.fafsa.ed.gov. If you have trouble filling this document out, most schools will provide someone that will guide you through this process.
Find Out Your Pell Grant Eligibility Today
With this information, you now better know your Pell grant eligibility. Money is limited in the federal government so remember that the earlier you fill out the application for student aid, the better the position to receive it you will be. If you have any questions about why you did not receive this aid and feel that you meet the eligibility requirements, contact your institution or the Department of Education for more information. Remember, too, that if you are not, other aid may be available to you.