Federal Pell Grants

The federal Pell Grant is offered by the federal government to undergraduates from low-income families. Recipients of this grant need not repay the amount received. To be eligible, you should be a college or university student who has not been awarded with your first bachelor's degree or any post baccalaureate programs. However, the Pell Grant may also be given to students attending a post baccalaureate Teacher Certificate Program.

You may apply for the grant by completing a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Applications are accepted from January 1st to June 30th every year. It is advisable to send in your application earlier as the scholarship is given on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may also submit your FAFSA online. Another way to get the form is to call 1-800-4-FED-AID to obtain a hardcopy of the form.

Application forms can also be obtained from your college or university's financial aid office. Normally, any student with a total family income of below $60,000 are eligible. The US Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate the information that you provide when you apply for the FAFSA. After you have submitted your application for the financial aid, you will receive an email confirmation to inform you that your application has been processed. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will also be generated and you will be able to view your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). The EFC is the amount that your family will be able to contribute towards your higher education. The EFC will also determine whether you are eligible for the grant and how much you'd be eligible for. Your information will be sent to your college or the university that you have mentioned in your FAFSA.

For the year 2012-2013, the maximum Pell Grant award is $5,550. The maximum amount will vary each year depending on program's funding. The amount of funding you will receive will depend on your Cost of Attendance (COA), EFC and enrollment status. Cost of Attendance (COA) is the estimated expenses that a student has to pay for one academic year.

You are only eligible for one Pell Grant in an award year. Most students will receive less than the maximum amount. However, being eligible for a Pell Grant will also enable you to be considered for other federal grant programs. Your college or university's financial aid department will make the final determination of the exact amount of funding that you are entitled to receive for a particular academic year. The money from the grant will be credited to your college or the university's account or it may also be paid to you through your banking account.

Leveraging a pell grant to pay for school is a great idea in a down economy. In order to qualify, the applicant must meet pell grant eligibility requirements. To find out more information about pell grants, please visit: =>http://pellgrantguide.org/

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