The process of applying for college can be daunting. There are so many questions that float around in a prospective students mind. From what college they will attend, to where they will live, to how they will pay for their books, the inundation of thought intensive questions is astounding. No area of concern can be as troublesome, though, as those surrounding financial assistance during school. Students must ask themselves what type of aid is best, whether they will use federal or private resources, and other important decision questions. Where will I begin looking? What is a loan? What is a Pell grant? These questions are so important for discussion, and this article will examine the last. Understanding a Pell grant is important to know before beginning schooling and it is from this inquisition that we begin.
Now, what is a Pell grant?
What is a Pell grant? More importantly, what is a grant? A grant is a type of financial aid that is provided to an individual without requiring repayment. Unlike a loan, a grant is given without expectation of financial remittance and allows financial freedom in the future because there is no need for scheduling of repayments.
A Pell grant is no exception. A Pell grant is, as its name suggest, a grant. It is a grant that is given by the federal government to individuals in need of financial assistance for their education. It is termed as a need-based grant program which means that recipients of the grant are chosen based on their financial and economic need for money.
In order to determine who is in need of money, a student must complete a Federal Application For Student Aid (FAFSA). This document is available online and is a government issued form that requires information regarding an individual’s income, tax bracket, and so forth. Without the completion of this document, an individual will not be eligible to receive a Pell grant or any other type of federal assistance, including loans.
The FAFSA will be used as a determinate of need based eligibility for the Pell grant. Income level structures provided will be the foundation for which the financial importance decision is made. The Department of Education uses a complicated calculator and formula based on the information from a student’s FAFSA to determine whether or not they will receive the Pell grant. For this reason, anyone interested in receiving a Pell grant should fill out this application annually. It must be completed yearly in order to assure continued federal aid access.
Knowing the answer to the question, “What is a Pell grant?” also means noting that other factors will be considered in selection decisions. An individual’s expected family contribution (EFC) and how much the school costs in tuition will also be considered by those making financial aid decisions. Further, a school must be on the list of participating schools or educational facilities. Not every school is eligible to receive financial aid in this form so it is important that you check with your particular financial institution regarding your interest in this grant.
A student that is eligible to receive a Pell grant will gain, this year, up to 5,500 dollars. However, this amount is not guaranteed. That is to say that receiving the Pell grant does not mean that you will receive all of that. Rather, the financial need calculator could mean that one student who receives a Pell grant will get the full amount while another may receive less. Again, this is based off of FAFSA information and other important economic factors.
This information should help you to answer the question “What is a Pell grant?” and how its eligibility is decided. There is a great deal of information available regarding this grant and a student should research before applying for any type of student aid. Remember, a FAFSA will be required for any federal assistance and the application can be filled out for free at fafsa.ed.gov, a government run website. Funding college can be difficult so remember that there is help available. Your help may just come in the form of a wonderful grant known as the Pell grant.