What is a Federal Pell Grant?
A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Generally, Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelorís or professional degree. (A professional degree is usually obtained after a bachelorís degree in a field such as medicine, law, or dentistry.) In some cases, you might receive a Pell Grant for attending a post-baccalaureate teacher certificate program.
Pell Grants are usually a foundation of financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added.
How do I qualify?
To determine if youíre eligible, the U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the information you report when you apply. The formula produces an EFC number. Your SAR contains this number, in the upper right portion of page 1. This number will determine if youíre eligible for a Pell Grant and for how much.
How much money can I get?
How much you get will depend not only on your EFC but also on your cost of attendance,* whether youíre a full-time or part-time student, and whether you attend school for a full academic year* or less. You may receive only one Pell Grant in an award year, and you may not receive Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.
How will I be paid?
Your school may credit the Pell Grant funds to your school account, pay you directly (usually by check), or combine these methods. The school must tell you in writing how and when youíll be paid and how much your Pell Grant will be. Schools must pay you at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that donít use formally defined, traditional terms must pay you at least twice per academic year.*
Can I receive a Federal Pell Grant if Iím enrolled less than half time?*
Yes, if youíre otherwise eligible. You wonít receive as much as if you were enrolled full time, but your school must disburse your Pell Grant funds in accordance with your enrollment status and canít refuse you an award simply because youíre enrolled less than half time.*