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Federal Grants Eligibility

Gauging Your Pell Grant Eligibility Status

Students often have difficulty gauging their eligibility status for the federal Pell Grant program. This really shouldn't be too much of a problem though, as there are only a handful eligibility criteria that students need to pay attention to. These include the following list of requirements that are included in this brief synopsis.

The Pell Grant is a federal program that is offered to help students pay for college. It is not a student loan, and rather it is simply cash in the form of a student grant. This means that the money that you get from a Pell Grant will not ever need to be repaid in any way, shape, or form. If you are eligible for a Pell Grant this is great news, because you will either have no student loans to pay off in the future, or your financial burden will be greatly reduced.

That said, not everybody is eligible. In order to determine if you are, you need to fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, more commonly known as the FAFSA. The FAFSA will determine your EFC, which stands for Expected Family Contribution. It is based on several factors, and it is a number, not a dollar amount. If the FAFSA says that your EFC is lower than 5, 273, than you should become eligible for a Pell Grant as of the 2010-11 school year. The lower your EFC, the more money you will be eligible for.

If your family has an income of less than 50, 000 dollars a year, this should correlate with a positive eligibility status. It is important to realize, however, that in most cases the grant is offered to students who have a family income of less than 20, 000 dollars, as these typically receive the most amount of aid via the Pell Grant. In addition to this, you either must be a United States citizen or national, or you must be a permanent resident with the necessary documentation to prove your status.

If you are not a dependent, this plays a major factor in whether or not you will be able to establish your Pell Grant eligibility. If you have dependents that rely on you financially, this is even more helpful in terms of whether or not you will receive the grant. This makes sense, of course, since it is much harder for a parent to pay for college when there are more than one children going to school in the family.

Further requirements are that you need to be an undergraduate student, and if you already have a professional degree in a different field you might not be able to qualify. The money can only be applied to an accredited school that provides a degree. To stay qualified, you will need to meet academic requirements that are set down by the school regarding your GPA and the number of courses that you pass or drop. You will need to agree that the money will be used for educational purposes and that you are not in a default status on any federal student loans. Upon satisfying these things you should be able to qualify for a Pell Grant, so go ahead and complete the FAFSA to see where you stand.

Article Tags: Pell Grant Eligibility, Pell Grant, Grant Eligibility, Eligibility Status

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