The costs of higher education can be a burden for many students and parents. As a result, some young people feel they have no choice but to give up on their hopes of completing their education. If you are one of those students or have children going to college, you will be glad to know that the federal government provides education assistance. This includes grants, scholarships, and student loans. One of the most popular student aid opportunities is the Pell Grant.
Since this assistance option is a grant, you don’t typically have to pay it back. In other words, it’s free money to pay for college. Through this grant, you can get up to $7,395 per year. However, not all students will be able to benefit from this opportunity. If you want to find out if you qualify for this opportunity, keep reading!
Explaining Pell Grants and How to Receive One
If a student’s financial circumstances prevent them from pursuing higher education, assistance will be necessary. Pell Grants are a federal support opportunity for students from medium and low-income backgrounds. They have been helping students pay for their college expenses for a long time. You might be one of the lucky students who can receive this grant. During the period of July 1, 2023, to June 30, 2024, Pell Grant recipients will be able to receive a maximum grant of $7,395. However, it’s important to note that this number is subject to change annually.
Who Can Receive a Pell Grant?
This form of assistance is not available to all students. Receiving a Pell Grant is based on financial need. As a result, students who do not meet that condition will not be eligible for the award. There are many other scenarios in which an applicant may be rejected. An applicant may not be able to receive this grant in the following scenarios:
- After serving time in prison for a sexual offense (forcible or not), the applicant was subject to an involuntary civil commitment.
- If the applicant was sent to a prison run by the state or the federal government.
Other than that, applicants must meet the eligibility criteria for Pell grants. These criteria include:
- Attending a university, either full-time or part-time as a certain type of student
- Having a valid citizenship
- Proving your financial need
- If the applicant is not currently enrolled as an undergraduate student, then they must be enrolled in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program. However, this is only relevant in certain circumstances.
How Much Does a Pell Grant Offer?
The amount of each student’s grant depends on their particular financial situation. In other words, the amount that each eligible student can receive will vary. The government establishes a maximum limit for the Pell Grant award each year. For example, the maximum Pell Award for the 2022-2023 academic year was $6,895. Thankfully, it has risen to $7,395 for the 2023 to 2024 school year. When accounting for the newest upcoming maximum, students should keep in mind the overall amount they can get.
In the 2023-2024 academic year, the highest amount you may receive from this type of financial assistance would be over $42,000. Pell Grants are only available for six years (or 12 semesters) for each qualifying student. If you receive 12 semesters’ worth of Pell grants, you can’t get any more money from this opportunity. The over $40,000 chance is only true if you receive the maximum allowed for each of the 12 semesters.
Applying for a Pell Grant
Applying for this grant is straightforward. The financial aid office at your college can help you with this process and provide you with information and guidance. Typically, in order to get one of these grants, you will need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Keeping your eligibility for a Pell grant requires resubmitting your FAFSA every year. This application is not only used for applying for Pell grants–it can also determine your eligibility for other types of student aid opportunities.
The FAFSA Deadlines
It’s important to remember that the FAFSA is frequently used to apply for other types of financial aid. Some of those sources for assistance can have their own deadlines and/or financing limitations. Hence, if you want to take advantage of all available opportunities, you should fill out the FAFSA as soon as you have the chance. On the other hand, there is no deadline for Pell Grants specifically. Click on this link to view the current FAFSA submission deadlines. Also, the financial aid office at your institution may be able to provide you with more assistance and details.
Different Ways of Receiving Your Award
You should get in touch with your institution to see how your grant will be awarded. There are various methods for obtaining grant funding. Your college will choose how to handle the award. There are typically three ways to use a Pell Grant:
- Applying grant funding to the student’s educational expenses
- Direct payment to the students
- Both of these approaches
Paying Back a Pell Grant
Pell Grants are grants, not loans, so they don’t have to be repaid in normal circumstances. It’s one of the reasons these grants are so popular. Nonetheless, there are several situations where a student may be required to repay a grant, such as:
- The student is receiving additional financial assistance which means they no longer meet the financial need standard.
- There was an update on the student’s enrollment status.
- Because the student has graduated or left school, they do not qualify for federal student aid anymore.
If you want a Pell grant, you should fill out a FAFSA as soon as possible. This grant can be a great opportunity for you to pay for the expensive college costs and pursue your dream of higher education. With this grant, you won’t need to worry about student debt because it doesn’t usually require repayment. It’s interesting to know that for the academic year 2024, you may receive up to $7,395 if you are eligible for the maximum award. If you have any questions, you can check out the online resources to find answers. Also, you can reach out to your college’s financial aid office for extra assistance.