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Pell Grants

A Pell Grant is need-based money the federal government provides for undergraduate students who need it to pay for tuition and books in order to attend college. Pell Grants are limited to students who fall within a low-to-moderate income level. This is money for a higher education and does not have to be repaid as long as the funds are used for the intended purpose.

The US Department of Education oversees the Pell Grants program, formerly called the Basic Educational Opportunities Grant. Pell Grants were established to promote access to higher forms of education to students who normally would not be able to pursue a postsecondary education. According to, the amount of the Pell Grant is established on the following factors:

Student’s expected family contribution
Cost of attendance
Student’s enrollment status (full-time or part time)
Student ‘s attendance for a full academic year or less.

If a student is attending a school to obtain a degree utilizing Pell Grant funds, they cannot utilize the funds for more than one school at a time and must attend one of the approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions in the United States.

There are established formulas used to evaluate the amount of the Pell Grant to be received by the interested student. If a student is living at home the student’s family income and assets is what decides the Pell Grant amount. Other items that affect the grant amount are the size of the family’s household and the number of family members attending college.

In some cases restrictions may be placed upon the Pell Grant giving the recipient a limited amount of time to utilize the funds and the requirement of passing classes. Pell government grants are one of the most largely used and are often applied for through the student’s chosen university or college’s financial department. Staff will assist students in filling out the proper paperwork and submitting the Pell Grant application to the appropriate agency. After filing an application, the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR), or the institution receives an Institutional Student Information Record (ISIR), which notifies the student if he or she is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and provides the student's EFC. The federal government passes the funds through the school of your choice, who in turn will either credit your account, pay you directly by check or combine the Pell Grant amount in a combination of the two methods.

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