Guide on How to Qualify For Pell Grant

Do you need to find a means to pay for your college education? If so, you might wish to take the Pell Grant programme into account. The federal government offers need-based financial aid in the form of the Pell Grant, which assists students in meeting their college tuition and other educational costs.

In this guide, we will discuss all the details of Pell Grants, from eligibility requirements to the application process and factors that affect how much funding you can receive. 


What is a Pell Grant and its Benefits?

A Pell Grant is a type of non-repayable federal financial aid available to college students in the US. Grants are typically given to undergraduate students who can prove they are in need of financial assistance and who do not yet hold a bachelor’s degree.

The benefits of obtaining a Pell Grant are numerous. One major benefit is that it does not need to be repaid, unlike student loans which must be paid back with interest. 

With a Pell Grant, students can afford college tuition and fees as well as textbooks and other educational expenses such as transportation or living costs. It also helps to reduce student loan debt since it does not need to be repaid. Finally, Pell Grant funds can be used for expenses related to attending college, such as room and board, books, and supplies. 

A Pell Grant is an invaluable form of federal financial aid that can help students afford a college education without taking on additional debt. It is an excellent resource for students to take advantage of and can help them achieve their educational goals.  


Eligibility Requirements for Pell Grants

Pell Grants are a form of need-based financial aid offered by the U.S. Department of Education to help students pay for college. Students must fulfil the following requirements in order to be qualified for a Pell Grant:

  1. own an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) for the 2020–2021 academic year of less than $5,711. 
  2. Be an undergraduate student enrolled in an eligible degree or certificate program at a participating college or career school, 
  3. Have not earned a bachelor’s or professional degree, 
  4. Meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements, 
  5. possess a valid Social Security number and be a citizen or eligible noncitizen of the United States.
  6. Have a valid high school diploma, GED, or equivalent, 
  7. Not be in default on an existing federal student loan, 
  8. Not have reached their lifetime limit of Pell Grant eligibility (currently 600%)

In addition, some colleges may have their own specific requirements for Pell Grant eligibility. Students should make sure they understand any additional requirements by contacting the college or university they intend to attend.


How much worth is a Pell Grant?

A Pell Grant is based on a student’s Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and does not have to be repaid. For the 2020–2021 academic year, each student may receive up to $6,345 in Pell Grant funding. This sum can vary from year to year depending on the demands of the student.

The amount of the Pell Grant given to a qualified student will vary depending on the cost of attendance, whether they are enrolled full-time or part-time, and whether they intend to stay in school for the entire academic year or less.


Overview of the Application Process

Applying for a Pell Grant can be a crucial step in making sure you receive the funding you require to accomplish your educational objectives. Although the application procedure is quite simple, there are a few steps that must be followed to ensure your application is accepted.

The first step in the process is to complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This form allows you to provide information on your family’s financial situation so that the government can determine if you qualify for a Pell Grant. Once this form is submitted, the Department of Education will review your information and determine if you meet the criteria for Pell Grant eligibility. 

The next step is to wait for a response from the Department of Education. If you are approved, you will receive an Award Letter that outlines the amount of the grant and other details such as when it will be disbursed. You should carefully read and keep this letter in a safe place. 

Finally, you will need to complete the process of enrolling in college or trade school and registering for classes within two weeks of receiving your Award Letter. This is important both as it ensures that you are taking advantage of the grant money and also so that the Department of Education can confirm that you are still eligible for the Pell Grant. 

Once you have enrolled, the federal aid you receive should be credited to your college or trade school account to pay for tuition and fees. 


Factors Impacting the Amount Received in a Pell Grant

A Pell Grant is a need-based grant, meaning eligibility and the amount received depending on various factors. These include the cost of attendance, Expected Family Contribution (EFC), enrollment status, and academic achievement levels. 

1. Cost of Attendance  

The cost of attendance at the school or institution of a student’s choice determines the amount of financial aid that student is eligible to receive. This includes tuition fees, room and board, books, transportation costs, and personal expenses. The higher these expenses are, the more money a student may be able to receive from a Pell Grant. 

2. Expected Family Contribution (EFC)  

The student’s family household must also meet certain income criteria in order to qualify for the grant. The expected family contribution, or EFC, is based on the total amount of money their family can afford to contribute toward college expenses. This amount is taken into consideration when determining the amount of money a student can receive from the Pell Grant. 

3. Enrollment Status  

The enrollment status at the school or university also plays an important role in how much financial aid a student can receive. Full-time students are eligible for more funds than part-time students. 

4. Academic Achievement Levels  

The student’s academic achievement levels are also taken into consideration when determining the amount of Pell Grant funds they can receive. A student with higher academic achievements may be eligible for more money than a student with lower achievements. 



The Pell Grant is a form of need-based financial aid provided by the federal government to help students cover college tuition and other educational expenses. Benefits include not needing to be repaid like student loans and can help reduce student loan debt. It can also be used for room and board, books, supplies, etc.

The maximum Pell Grant award for 2020 – 2021 is $6,345 per student, which varies based on financial need & factors such as cost of attendance & enrollment status are taken into consideration when determining the amount awarded to eligible students. 

Applying involves completing the FAFSA form followed by waiting for a response from the Department Of Education, after which one must enroll within two weeks upon receiving the Award Letter confirming eligibility & grant funds will then be credited towards the college account. Hope you found this article useful!

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