Would You Go Back To School if You Qualified for Financial Aid?
Attending college can be quite costly. Luckily, there are grant programs in place to help make getting an education affordable. Federal Pell Grants are the most common form of federal grant issued to students.
Pell Grants are not like loans, which means you don’t have to pay them back. As you might guess, there is a lot of competition for Pell Grants because – for students – they basically amount to free money. Most Pell Grants are issued to undergraduate students who are low-income or belong to low-income families; however, there are other eligibility requirements as well.
You may only be awarded one Pell Grant per school year. The maximum grant amount is $5,730. Each year the maximum is re-evaluated and adjusted according to perceived need.
In the end, your eligibility is determined by the Department of Education. In order to find out whether or not you qualify to receive aid, you must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, commonly referred to by its acronym, FAFSA. You may fill out the application online as early as January 1 of every year.
Pell Grants are not just awarded to any and all undergraduate students. They are primarily reserved for those who have high “financial need”. The larger the gap between what a student (and/or his family) earns and the cost of an education, the more likely he is to receive aid.
Families with incomes of up to $50,000 annually are eligible. In reality, a large portion of the grants go to families with less than $20,000 in annual earnings.