Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need and have not earned a bachelor’s or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Federal Pell Grant.)
You are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or non -forcible sexual offense.
A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid, except under certain circumstances.
If you’re eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, you’ll receive the full amount you qualify for—each school participating in the program receives enough funds each year from the U.S. Department of Education to pay the Federal Pell Grant amounts for all its eligible students. The amount of any other student aid for which you might qualify does not affect the amount of your Federal Pell Grant.
Level of study: undergraduate students
Amounts can change yearly. The maximum Federal Pell Grant award is $6,095 for the 2018–19 award year (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019).
The amount you get, though, will depend on
- your Expected Family Contribution,
- the cost of attendance (determined by your school for your specific program),
- your status as a full-time or part-time student, and
- your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
General eligibility requirements are that you must
- demonstrate financial need (for most programs);
- be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen;
- have a valid Social Security number (with the exception of students from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, or the Republic of Palau);
- be registered with Selective Service, if you’re a male (you must register between the ages of 18 and 25);
- be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student in an eligible degree or certificate program;
- be enrolled at least half-time to be eligible for Direct Loan Program funds;
- maintain satisfactory academic progress in college or career school;
How to apply: You should start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®) form. You will have to fill out the FAFSA form every year you’re in school in order to stay eligible for federal student aid.
Deadline: September 15, 2018.
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