There are several qualifiers that must be met in order to become eligible for the Pell Grant. They don’t necessarily determine the actual amount you are going to receive by way of the Pell, and rather they are more like individual qualifiers that must be satisfied if you want to become eligible to receive the Grant. The best way to understand these qualifications is by grouping them into two categories.
On the one hand you have your EFC, or expected family contribution, as this is supposed to be a direct indicator of your families’ ability to provide funding for your postsecondary, education-related expenses. It is a prime indicator because if your EFC is anything higher than the threshold for that particular school year you won’t be able to become eligible for the award, bottom-line. Once you know that your EFC is lower than the this threshold, you can then move onto the other category of qualifications that are relevant for this type of financial aid.
There are about twelve of these that you need to pay attention to, and you need to view these on a “pass-or-fail” basis, meaning that you either satisfy each one, or you fail–taking you out of the running for the Pell Grant.
The following is a list of the twelve most critical qualifications for that you must pay attention to.
- You first must be a United State citizen, national, or eligible non-citizen.
- You must be able to provide a valid social security number when filling out your FAFSA. If you are a male, and are currently between the ages of eighteen, and twenty-five, you must be registered with the Selective Service.
- The school you are going to must partake in the Pell Grant program.
- The program of study you are taking must be a degree-oriented program, and typically cannot be a graduate program, although certain kinds of professional programs do qualify.
- You must be making the appropriate academic progress in the program of study you are enrolled in. This is defined most often by the college you are attending.
- Having served jail-time in the past may make you ineligible
- Having a prior drug-conviction may make you ineligible. This will depend heavily on the specifics of the charge, the date it happened, and whether or not you have completed an appropriate drug rehabilitation program.
- You will be ineligible if you have an outstanding Pell overpayment on your record.
- Having a default on any sort of previous federal aid may make you ineligible.
- If you have received a Presidential scholarship, 100% scholarship, or full-scholarship for the upcoming school year you will not be able to receive the Pell.
These are the most critical qualifications that you must pay attention to if you want become eligible for the particular award year at-hand. It is best to go through these and simply make note of any areas that you may not completely satisfy.
You should then be able to take the appropriate action to remedy the problem, as not doing so will serve as grounds for an ineligibility status when it comes time to apply. Remember that by satisfying both the previous list, and the aforementioned EFC cutoff threshold you should be able to qualify for Federal Aid, and thus take advantage of this great financial aid instrument.