Federal Pell Grant Award increased by $500

The Federal Pell Grant amount is increased by $500 to help low-income families to better pay for the cost of education. President Joe Biden signed the latest federal spending plan, according to which, the maximum amount for Federal Pell Grant is increased to $74000 for fiscal year 2023. Previously, the maximum amount for Pell Grant was $6895. The Academia and Higher Education experts appreciated the increase.

Last year the amount was increased by $400, making it a total $900 increase in two years, which is the largest increase in the grant’s history.  Biden Administration is really putting its efforts to help students pay their cost of education.

What is the number of Pell Grant?

The Pell Grant is the largest grant program in the United States. Department of Education offers the grant to undergraduate students. The program started 1972. It is named after Sen. Claiborne Pell of Rhode Island, the chief sponsor of the program.

The increase will benefit over 6 million college students. According to the department of education, over 6 million college students received the grants in in academic year 2020-21. The president has claimed to increase the grant to $13000 by 2029.

How to apply for Pell Grant? 

The first step in receiving the Pell Grant is submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or more commonly known as FAFSA. FAFSA form is free to submit and student will have to enter family’s information on the FAFSA, including income and number of children enrolled in college. Most of the Public and Autonomous organizations and universities require FAFSA form for scholarship processing. So, every student aspiring to receive any grant or scholarship must submit FAFSA form and it is essential for Pell Grants as well. Also, the Government is tweaking FAFSA form and many unnecessary details will be omitted from. the form.

If a family’s financial situation changes after filing the FAFSA, such as a parent’s job loss or significant medical expenses, the family can submit an appeal to their school for more financial aid and the student may possibly receive a larger Pell Grant award.

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 students 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 Grants 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 Grants?

To be eligible, students must

  • Complete FAFSA form
  • Be in dire financial need
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen
  • Must not have yet completed a bachelor’s, graduate or professional degree.
  • Currently, students who are incarcerated in a federal or state institution, or who are convicted of certain crimes, are generally not eligible for the Pell Grant