As a student or just someone looking to return to school, exploring financial assistance can prove to be beneficial. School fees can tend to sneak up on you or just truly seem overwhelming. As a student you might see costs or fees attached to classes, books and even dorm life. However, we are not here to discourage you. School can be a great thing for anyone who attends, and with the right aid, it could even better your experience. One form of aid being a Pell Grant. This grant can give students over 5k in extra funds which is a wonderful opportunity for anyone qualifying. So don’t let fees control the narrative, explore the different routes your school journey can take you, even with financial aid.
Explaining a Pell Grant
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford higher education, which is why so many people need help with the costs associated with it. Pell Grants have been helping with this expense for decades! The good news is that in most cases, repayment is not necessary for a Pell Grant, simply because they are grants. So, how much assistance do students in need receive? Basically, as of July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, the maximum Pell Grant amount offered is $7,395.
Obtaining a Pell Grant
Anyone who wants to obtain a Pell Grant will have to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Applicants for Pell Grants should be aware that even after receiving approval, they must submit a FAFSA each year to retain their status as recipients. The benefit of submitting the FAFSA is that it will also determine whether the applicant is eligible for other forms of financial aid. Overall, the application process for a Pell Grant is not complicated; however, students applying should make sure their application has no mistakes. This is because whether a person qualifies for a Pell Grant is only decided by their FAFSA.
FAFSA deadlines are typically available online on this website, or students could simply speak with the financial assistance office at their institution. Anyone seeking a grant opportunity should be mindful of FAFSA deadlines. That’s because applicants can use their FAFSA to apply for other financial assistance options that could have deadlines or funding caps. Although there won’t be a set deadline for Pell Grant applications, it’s a good idea for students to submit their applications as soon as they can!
Eligibility for a Pell Grant
Just like any program, people have to meet its requirements in order to be eligible. A Pell Grant is a fair financial opportunity for financially struggling students. That’s why the eligibility requirements will focus on students who need this grant the most.
So who are these people? Well, they have to be either a full-time or part-time undergraduate student. In other words, they have to be currently studying and can’t hold a professional, graduate, or bachelor’s degree. If the person is not an undergraduate, they could be enrolled in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program. However, this situation is accepted under certain circumstances only. Additionally, an applicant has to prove a need for the money and, of course, have a valid citizenship status.
Now that we’ve discussed the eligibility requirements, let’s talk about the things that automatically disqualify a student. If a person is subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period in jail for a sexual offense, they are immediately rejected. Ineligibility also applies to a person who is incarcerated in a state or federal prison. If an individual falls into the previous categories, they will not be eligible for a Pell Grant.
The Pell Grant Maximum Amount
As we said earlier, as of July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024, the maximum Pell Grant amount offered is $7,395. However, how much money a student will get will depend on where the student stands financially.
The maximum time a student can receive Pell Grant assistance is for a total of 12 semesters, or in other words, about 6 years. The amount given could be less or more because the Pell Grant maximum amount could change. Take a look at the change in amount over the years.
- 2021-2022 with a maximum of $6,495
- 2022-2023 with a maximum of $6,895
- 2023-2024 with a maximum of $7,395
Take note that the date range will always be July 1st of the current year to June 30th of the next year. Now Let’s say a student was successful in obtaining the maximum sum for each of the 12 semesters of the academic year 2023–2024. In this case, the student gets a maximum of around $40,000.
How Students Receive Their Money
Getting in touch with your school would be the best first step, for a student receiving the Pell Grant. This is because depending on the school, you may get a choice in how your funds are spent. The option will fall within 2 payment types. While some students will have all of their funds put towards costs from school, others may choose a different route. Another option being, the funds will be given to the student, letting them handle the payment arrangement. Overall, the decision belongs to the school on whether a student will even get that option or have the grant money automatically paid to school-related expenses.
Does A Pell Grant Have To Be Paid Back?
In some situations, a student has to pay back their grant. Let’s say a person received extra financial aid that affected their need for money. In this case, the grant would need to be paid back. Sometimes, if there’s been a change in enrollment status, this can affect the grant amount a person receives. Additionally, a person will also need to repay their grant if they leave school because that simply means they don’t require financial help anymore. However, typically this is not the case so people shouldn’t worry!
For students who are struggling financially, a Pell Grant is a fair financial opportunity. So who can take advantage of this support option? Basically, a student must be eligible to get financial aid. For more information about eligibility requirements, students should contact the financial aid office at their school.
The current Pell Grant amount is $7,395 for the 2023–2024 academic year. However, this amount is the maximum any student can get, and it may change next year. Additionally, not all students have the same financial situation, which is why each student will receive a different Pell Grant amount. The good news is that higher education is not out of reach!