Thursday, October 23, 2008

Pell grants eligibility questions and answers

Who may apply for pell grants?
  • Undergraduate Individuals and vocational students enrolled or accepted for enrollment in participating schools.
  • You must be enrolled at least less-than-half-time to receive a PELL Grant. Not all students who qualify for a full-time Pell Grant will be eligible at less than full-time enrollment.
Federal Pell Grant
  • A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded usually only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Pell Grant.)
  • Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and non-federal sources might be added.
  • As soon as you have completed your yearly income tax return, you should apply for pell grant.
You may apply for pell grant once a year.
The 2008-2009 PELL year will extend from Fall 2008 through Summer 2009 semesters.

How much money can you get through pell grant?
  • The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2008-09 award year (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009) is $4,731.yet the amount can change each award year and depends on program funding.
  • The amount you get, though, will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

Getting the Pell Grant money:
  • Your school can apply Pell Grant funds to your school costs, pay you directly (usually by check), or combine these methods.
  • The school must tell you in writing how much your award will be and how and when you'll be paid. Schools must disburse funds at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter).
  • Schools that do not use semesters, trimesters, or quarters must disburse funds at least twice per academic year.
How long does it take to get a PELL Grant?

It depends on how fast you completed your Fafsa application.
You can your waiting time by several weeks with an online application: Apply over the Internet at
  • The Student Aid Report (SAR) lets your school know if you may be eligible to receive a PELL Grant.
  • On the SAR is an EFC number.
  • The EFC, or Expected Family Contribution is what the federal government has determined you can contribute to your own education.
  • Your award will be based on this EFC number.
If you forgot to list your school as one of the institutions to receive your SAR, what can you do?
  • You may check on the status of your SAR online at or by phone at: 1-800-433-3243.
  • Don't forget your school code!
What is full-time enrollment?

Any student who is enrolled in 12 or more hours in a semester is considered a full-time student.

How long does it take for a pell grant application to be certified?
  • It depends on your school - it may take about 3 weeks for your pell grant application to be certified and about 2 weeks to be disbursed to your school.
Transferring you pell grant from another college:
  • You must submit your Student Aid Report to your new school.

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