Are you constantly browsing through different schools that offer postgraduate degrees, wishing you could be one of the students? Is it your dream to further your education, but you don’t have the funds for it? You are not the only one going through that whirlwind of questions. Fortunately, there is a way to fulfill your dream! You can look into federal aid opportunities that help with educational expenses, like the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant can help you with thousands in funds that you do not need to repay! If you don’t know about this grant, then maybe it is time to dig a little deeper!
Understanding a Pell Grant and How To Apply
For any kind of educational financial aid, you will need to fill out a Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA). This application helps you understand whether you qualify or not for different types of financial aid. That would include the Pell Grant. Furthermore, receiving the Pell Grant requires a yearly submission of your FAFSA to keep your eligibility and benefits. If you want to apply, then you should know that there is no specific deadline. However, you should do your best to fill out your FAFSA as soon as you can. This is because the FAFSA applies for other financial aid opportunities, too. You can find out more online or through your school’s financial aid office.
Did you know that the Pell Grant has existed for decades? Yes! This grant has the opportunity for students to get funds of up to $7,395 from July 1st, 2023 until June 30th, 2024. The main goal is to help middle and lower-income students to receive higher education. However, it’s worth noting that this amount is subject to change every year. For the school year of 2022 to 2023 it was lower. On the other hand, it is expected to raise for the 2024 to 2025 school year. So just make sure to stay in the loop with the maximums!
Qualifying for a Pell Grant
As mentioned above, you need to annually submit your FAFSA to keep your benefits and eligibility status. However, there are times when you would automatically disqualify from the Pell Grant. That would be in the case of staying in a state/federal prison or participating in an involuntary civil commitment to finish jail time for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense.
On the other hand, you can qualify under the following conditions:
- You are a full-time or part-time undergraduate student, which means you cannot have a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree.
- If you aren’t an undergrad, but you have an enrollment in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program (only in certain situations).
- You show that you have financial need and have a qualifying status of citizenship
If you ever want to clarify this information, keep in mind that you can go to your school’s financial aid office. This is a great resource that you want to utilize while you have access! They can answer anything about the qualifications for a Pell Grant.
How Much You Can Get and How You Can Get Pell Grant Funds
Roughly 6 years (a.k.a 12 semesters) is the maximum time a student can receive assistance from The Pell Grant. However, the Pell Grant does not stay as a consistent amount; it actually changes every year. The maximum amount for this academic year is $7,395, but the amount you get depends on your financial situation. $42,000 is about the amount a student can receive from this support option, if they received the maximum amount throughout all 12 semesters.
Receiving and Returning Pell Grant
Obviously, you do not need to pay off a grant, which is great for you! However, it is not always that simple! This means that there are certain situations where you will need to repay the grant. That would include withdrawing from school, changing your enrollment status, or getting extra financial aid. All of these conditions would change your financial need levels.
When it comes to actually receiving your grants, you will want to be mindful that it may not be as straightforward as you think. That’s because not every school is the same. Some schools choose to immediately put the funds towards school costs. On the flip side, some other schools may decide to give the funds directly to the student. Schools even have the flexibility to handle payments in other ways! So, it just all depends. That is why it is so important to have a clear understanding of Pell Grants as a recipient. Your school will be able to provide you with more details about receiving these funds for your specific situation.
So, there you have it! You do not need to give up your dream of pursuing a higher education just yet! You can always look into financial aid opportunities from the federal government like the Pell Grant. To apply for the Pell Grant (and other financial aid), you will need to fill out a FAFSA. You should do your best to apply as soon as you can. Even though the Pell Grant does not have any specific deadlines, you might find deadlines with other financial aid opportunities. Make sure to keep your options open. After all, you have nothing to lose!
If you get the Pell Grant, then you might get the maximum amount of $7,395 per year and up to $42,000 for 6 years (if you were eligible for the maximum amount for each allowable year)! Keep in mind that you only need to pay off the grant if you withdraw from school or get extra financial aid. Have more questions? You should contact your school’s financial aid office for clarity and guidance. This grant can be a great opportunity for you to pursue your dreams of a higher education. Getting educated shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Hopefully with the help of assistance opportunities such as the Pell Grant, managing this expense can be easier!