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How Pell Grants Provide Thousands Yearly to Go Back to School

College expenses are high to handle for many students. For this reason, some students think they should give up on their dreams of higher education. This may affect their future career badly. Therefore, there should be a way to help students pursue college without struggling financially. Fortunately, the government realizes the importance of higher education and understands how costly it can be for many students. As a result, it provides a variety of assistance options, including grants such as the Pell Grant, to help students pay for college. One of the most interesting advantages of grants—including this one—is that they usually don’t require repayment. That’s why they may be a great opportunity for many students.

Your Full Guide to Understanding Pell Grants

Although this may be an excellent opportunity to save students money while still getting a higher education, not all students and parents know this option exists. Therefore, we created this article to help you fully understand:

  • What Do Pell Grants Have to Offer?
  • When You Receive a Pell Grant, Will You Have To Pay it Back?
  • The Application Process, How Does it Work?
  • Who Can Get a Pell Grant?
  • How Does the Process of Receiving Money Go?

What Do Pell Grants Have to Offer?

Pell Grants are funding opportunities that have been available for quite some time. The purpose of establishing those grants was to help more students from medium and low financial backgrounds pursue higher education. That’s why how much a student can receive is based on their own financial situation. However, there is a maximum amount of the grant award that may change every year. For the 2023-2024 school year, students can receive up to $7,395 from a Pell Grant. It’s worth noting that students are only eligible for Pell Grants for a total of 12 semesters, which is about 6 years.

You might be wondering if you will receive the grant money in cash or if your institution will receive it to cover your tuition costs instead. In some cases, it may be both! It all depends on your institution. It’s up to each college to determine how the money will be handled. The only way to find out how you will receive your grant is by contacting your college.

When You Receive a Pell Grant, Will You Have To Pay it Back?

Generally speaking, educational grants are a type of financial aid that essentially acts as free money awarded to eligible students. Since Pell payments are grants, not loans, they don’t often require repayment. This way students can focus on learning and developing without having to worry about debt. Nonetheless, in some scenarios, a student may need to pay back their grant. Here are a few examples of situations where this may apply:

  • Receiving extra funding, which may change the recipient’s financial status.
  • The student’s enrollment status changes.
  • The recipient is no longer eligible for federal student aid since they left their institution.

The Application Process, How Does it Work?

When looking for education support, you will most likely come across the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. This application is generally used to determine students’ eligibility for various types of student aid. This includes Pell Grants. So, if you want to receive funding through Pell Grants, you will have to submit a FAFSA. In order to keep your eligibility for a Pell Grant, you must file a new FAFSA each year. For more information and assistance with the application process, you can get in touch with the student aid office at your college.

For Pell Grants, in particular, there is no specific deadline for submitting an application. However, your FAFSA may help determine your eligibility for other support options that may have deadlines for applying. As a result, it is recommended to submit a FAFSA as soon as you can. This way, you will not miss out on other helpful opportunities on top of Pell Grants. Every support opportunity can make a lot of difference. If you want to find out about the deadlines, you can visit this website. In addition, the financial aid office at your school is a great source of information. They can help you learn more about the options available and their deadlines.

Who Can Get a Pell Grant?

While there are several grants that don’t have applicant requirements, the Pell Grant is not one. There are a few criteria that students must satisfy in order to be eligible for this grant. This may include:

  • Holding valid citizenship.
  • Being a full or part-time college student. Therefore, they cannot hold a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree at the time of applying.
  • Being able to provide proof of financial need.
  • Participating in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program, if the applicant is not an undergraduate. This only applies to specific cases.

Meeting those requirements doesn’t 100% guarantee that your application will be accepted. In fact, there are some cases where an application may be rejected. These cases mainly have to do with criminal records. So, if you have a clean background, there is likely nothing to worry about. To clarify, applicants may find themselves ineligible for this opportunity in the following scenarios:

  • If they were condemned to involuntary civil commitment after serving time in prison for a forcible (or non-forcible) sexual crime.
  • In case they are serving time in a federal or state prison.

In a Nutshell

You should submit a FAFSA as soon as possible if you want to apply for a Pell grant. This grant might be an excellent opportunity for you to pay for your college expenses and follow your dreams of higher education. You won’t have to worry about student debt with this grant because it often has no payback requirements. It’s worth noting that if you are qualified for the highest award, you might get up to $7,395 for the 2023-2024 school year. You can use the online tools and resources to look up additional information. Furthermore, you can get in touch with the financial aid office at your college for more help.