Pell Grants are seen as a fundamental building-block of federal student financial aid. You may be able to add further grants or loans to top up your student funding, but Pell Grants are usually the first financial support to put in place. As the word “grant” implies, Pell grants, unlike loans, do not need to be repaid. Pell Grants are usually given to students who have yet to complete a bachelor’s or professional program.
The amount you will receive when you apply for a Pell Grant depends on a number of factors. These include your financial circumstances, your college fees, and whether you are a part-time or full-time student. The amount students receive may change from year to year.
How to Apply for a Pell Grant
The standard way to apply for a Pell Grant is to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) either online or by filling in and returning a paper form. Remember that these grants are allocated on a first come first served basis, so apply as soon as possible.
You will need your and your parents’ tax, identity, financial, and banking information to hand to complete your application.
You should then receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) letting you know if you are eligible for a Pell Grant and, if you are, how much funding you will receive. Read your SAR carefully as it will detail how you go about claiming your money.
Receiving your Pell Grant money
Pell Grants are paid through schools and colleges. Your school can write you a check, apply the grant to your college costs, or use both of these methods.