Once you have established your eligibility for the Pell Grant it is then imperative that you learn about the actual Pell Grant amounts that you may be able to receive for the upcoming school year. You should be encouraged to hear that the maximum Pell Grant amount has been increased by 150 dollars for the 2010-11 school year, and is up from 5,350 dollars during 2009-10, to 5,500 for 2010-11. The minimum Pell grant amount you can receive is now currently set at 1,176 dollars if you are enrolled on a full-time basis, and the absolute minimum you can receive if you are enrolled less-than-halftime is set at 659 dollars.
The reality is that you probably won’t get approved for the maximum Pell Grant amount, as most students only receive about half of the maximum amount on average. You are now probably asking yourself how this is determined exactly, and in truth it is not that difficult to understand. Once you have become eligible to receive Pell Grant funding the actual amount you are able to receive is calculated via a formula by the school you are attending. This formula takes into account several factors, with the most critical ones being your EFC, the cost of attendance of going to that school, and your enrollment status.
When it comes to your EFC, the lower your EFC is the better, with EFC values at zero, or at close to zero almost always getting close to the full amount. The cost of attendance of going to your school also plays a significant role, with higher costs of attendance resulting in higher Pell Grant amounts for that school year. Your enrollment status affects your Pell Grant amount by fractionally prorating the amount you are approved for in accordance with whether you are enrolled full-time, three-quarters-time, half-time, or less-than-halftime. Ultimately the decision is up to your school’s financial aid department, and you must understand that they are only given a certain amount of Pell Grant funding from the Department of Education each year. This means that it is crucial that you submit your FAFSA as early as possible if you want to get approved for the highest amount of aid you can.