How to Truly Become Eligible for the Pell Grant Program

The Pell Grant Program is the largest educational need-based aid program in existence today, and to become eligible you must be an undergraduate student who has not yet earned a bachelor’s degree or any other professional degrees. The best news is that a federal Pell Grant, unlike most student loans, does not have to be repaid. Furthermore, Pell Grant aid can provide money to low-income undergraduates to promote access to post-secondary education.

The application process is not overpowering. You must complete a free application for student aid and meet all of the general federal student aid stipulations and eligibility requirements. Any individual may apply. The amount of your Pell Grant is determined by the size of your expected family contribution, the school’s cost of attendance, your enrollment status and whether you attend for part or all of the school’s academic year. Even though, as mentioned earlier, you are not required to repay a Pell Grant loan, these grants are considered a federal entitlement program, ergo, the federal government awards the funds, regardless of which eligible school you choose to attend.

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The maximum Pell Grant eligibility requirement varies each award year and, like most federal funding programs, is based on whether the government funds are available at the time of your application. For example, during 2008 and 2009 the minimum award for those who qualify was 400 dollars, and the maximum was 4,310 dollars. One thing applicants should remember is that while you should always exhaust all types of financial aid programs, if you don’t qualify for a Pell Grant, you may still be eligible for other types of financial aid.

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The best way to view information about becoming eligible for the Pell Grant is reading about the application process using your computer. This option is the fastest, most convenient and is the one encouraged by the Pell Grant program. Remember that you need to apply as early as possible in order to become eligible, and the earliest you can complete the FAFSA is now set at January first for the following academic year.

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