How to Apply for a Pell GrantSeptember 21, 2016, 11:45 AM
The cost of higher education just keeps rising. And with the burden of student loans attached to students after graduation climbing into the tens of thousands, getting as much financial aid that doesn’t require repayment is critical. The federal government, through the U.S. Department of Education, offers the Pell Grant to financially eligible students to approximately 10 million undergraduate students. Over 30 billion dollars are distributed yearly in this competitive grant.
So, how do you get your piece of the Pell Grant pie?
There is no specific application for a Pell Grant. Just complete the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid (FAFSA) in one of three different ways:
1. Apply online through the U.S. Department of Education’s website, Federal Student Aid
2. Complete a PDF version of the FAFSA, which must be printed and mailed
3. Fill out a paper version of the FAFSA and submitting it by mail.
Paper applications are available by calling the U.S. Department of Education’s toll-free number for federal financial aid, but they recommend applying online through the U.S. Department of Education’s website.
Applicants must demonstrate financial need, and your school must participate in the Pell Grant program. The maximum that a student is eligible to receive is $5,815 for the 2016-2017 academic year, but not all students receive the maximum award. The amount depends on several factors:
1. The cost of your tuition and other expenses
2. Your financial need, as determined by your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC)
3. Whether you plan to attend school for a full academic year
4. Whether you’ll be attending part-time or full-time.
As of 2012, students can receive Pell Grants for no more than 12 semesters.
Your strategy for funding college should include filling out the FAFSA to potentially get free money from the federal government. With the cost of college these days, let no penny go uncovered!
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