Everything You Need to Know About Pell Grants
Last updated January 17, 2023
Searching for money for college can be overwhelming, but believe it or not some grants may already have your name on it! Many students are surprised to learn they will receive the Pell grant simply by completing their FAFSA. Here’s all you need to know about Pell grants and how to determine if you’re eligible.
What is a Pell Grant?
Pell grant is federal financial aid that is provided to students who have a significant financial need. Unlike loans, grant funds do not have to be paid back. Eligible students are automatically awarded these funds based on meeting a series of eligibility criteria.
How much $$ is offered?
Many factors like Expected Family Contribution (EFC), status as a full-time or part-time student, and cost of attendance at the school you plan to attend all play a role in how much Pell grant may be awarded. Since these factors can change over time while in college, Pell grant amounts can vary each year. Currently, the maximum Federal Pell Grant amount awarded is $6,895. Rumor has it, this amount will go up for the 2023-2024 school year.
Am I Eligible for a Pell Grant?
To determine if you are Pell eligible, the first and only step is completing your financial aid. This will give the colleges that you are interested in all the info they need to determine your eligibility. To estimate how much you may receive, you can use the 2022-2023 Pell Grant Payment Schedule using the Cost of Attendance (COA) of the college you are interested in and your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) from your FAFSA Student Aid Report (SAR). The 2023-2024 estimates are not yet available, but this will give you an idea of what to expect! It’s important to note, in order to maintain your eligibility for Pell Grant is to renew your FAFSA every year, maintain your grades, and be an undergraduate student.
How do I apply for a Pell Grant?
You don't actually have to apply for the Pell grant. You can consider completing your FAFSA, the Pell grant application. Once it has been determined that you are eligible, you will receive the funds automatically. The Pell grant will cover unmet costs you have and if there are additional Pell grant funds leftover, those remaining funds are disbursed to you directly for expenses like books, supplies, and personal items.
So it’s simple! Apply for financial aid early and when those award letters start rolling in, look to see if the Pell grant is supporting you for paying for college. Text #FAFSA to 33-55-77 if you need additional help!