Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell program provides assistance in the form of a grant to undergraduate students. Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who are pursuing their first bachelor's degree. For many students, Pell Grants provide the foundation of financial aid to which other aid may be added. Federal Pell Grants may be used to pay tuition, or, if tuition is covered by other means, to help students purchase books and supplies or pay for transportation costs.
To determine a student's eligibility, the U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate the information reported on the FAFSA. This formula produces an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number. The Student Aid Report (SAR) will contain this number and will inform students whether they may be eligible for Pell. Students can only receive one Pell Grant per award year, from one college at a time. How much Pell is received depends on the student's EFC, their cost of attendance and whether the student attends school for a full academic year or less. Other determining factors are listed below.
The Free Application for Federal Student Aid - FAFSA is the application used to apply for federal government grants and student loans.
Residency and Citizenship
To apply for federal student aid, students must be United States citizens or eligible non-citizens.
Additional Information Regarding Pell Eligibility
- Students must be accepted to a degree seeking eligible program
- The Pell Grant can be awarded for enrollment in as little as one equated credit
- Students can receive Pell Grants for up to 12 full-time semesters, or the equivalent
- The Pell Grant is only awarded to students pursuing an undergraduate degree
- Students may not be in default on any prior federal student loans or owe the federal government a refund of financial aid previously received
- Students and their parents must be willing to verify the information provided on the FAFSA
- Males between 18 and 25 years of age must register with Selective Service
- Students cannot be convicted of possessing or selling illegal drugs while receiving financial aid
For the 2014-2015 Academic Year, the Pell Grant ranges from $587 to as much as $5,730, depending on family income and other factors. Eligible students may receive the Pell Grant as either part-time or full-time students.
Maximum Time Frame (Lifetime Eligibility Used (LEU))
The amount of Federal Pell Grant funds a student may receive over his or her lifetime is limited by a new federal law, to be the equivalent of 6 years of Pell Grant funding. The Department of Education keeps track of students' LEU by adding together the percentages of Pell Grants students received for each award year. Students can determine how much Pell they have used and what they have remaining by visiting: www.nslds.ed.gov