Federal Pell Grant 2024: Everything You Need to Know

The Pell Grant is the largest student support program in the United States for undergraduate students. The program is offered by the Department of Education. A maximum of US$ 7400 per annum is paid for his/her studies. The amount is paid directly to the college. The program is named after Sen. Claiborne Pell who was the chief sponsor of the program.

How to apply for Pell Grant? 

Students are required to apply for the Pell Grant by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). FAFSA is required for most of the public grants and is also required by many private organization for the scholarship award. FAFSA form is very simple and student is

How much is the Pell Grant award? 

Although the maximum award is $7400 per year, but not every student gets the same amount. Average students receive roughly 70% of the amount, but it varies from case to case. Many factors including the schools you are enrolled, your cost of living, your income and others play an important role in determining the amount you will get through the Pell Grant.

According to the National Center for Education, an average four-year degree at a public university in the united states costs about $9,400, and for a private university it may go up to $37,600. Hence if you are enrolled at a public university, half of your cost can be funded by the Pell Grant.

Normally, the Pell Grant Award is paid for full year, and the amount is divided in two semesters. For example if a students’ award is $4000, he/she will receive $2000 in Fall and $2000 in Spring. But if the student is eligible for 1505 of the award, he/she will receive additional $2000 for summer semester as well.

How is Pell Grant Paid?

Pell Grant is not paid directly to the student. The department of Education pays the grant directly to the university you are enrolled at. The University or the Institution use these grants to cover student’s tuition fee and other costs. The remaining amount, if any, is paid to the students by the institution. The remaining amount can be utilized by the student on their education related expenses.

If there are additional funds left over, a student will be issued a credit. The form of this credit varies depending on the institution. The credit can be used to pay for books, up to a certain amount, and other educational expenses.

How long the Pell Grants are Paid

A student can avail Pell Grant Award for a maximum of six year or 12 semesters. This limit is put by the federal Government. The Department of Education enforced this limitation in 2012. Prior to this the students could avail the grant for full-time 18 semesters.

Do You Have to Pay Back Pell Grants?

Students are not required to pay back the Federal Pell Grant as long as they complete their studies and do not change their enrollment status. But in case they withdraw or leave the courses or change their enrollment status, or fail to continue making academic progress, which can include GPA requirements set by individual institutions, they may be required to repay the amount they have received through Pell Grant.

Who Is Eligible for a Pell Grant?

To be eligible, students must

  • demonstrate exceptional financial need on the FAFSA,
  • be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen and have not yet received a bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree.
  • While graduate students are not typically eligible for Pell Grant aid, in some cases students seeking a post-baccalaureate teacher certification may be eligible.
  • Students may lose Pell Grant eligibility if they withdraw from courses, do not maintain enrollment status or fail to continue making academic progress, which can include GPA requirements set by individual institutions.