What You Need to Know Before Applying for Federal Aid

If you are a student who is confused about what it takes to become eligible for the Pell Grant program, you must first understand that your eligibility comes down your ability to satisfy a certain list of requirements in combination with your ability to exhibit an appropriate EFC metric.

This is really all it take to become eligible for this grant award, and by going over this list of qualifications before you fill out your FAFSA you can get a better idea of your chances of becoming eligible for the grant. The following are the most critical items that you must take into account:

  • If you are a male between the ages of 18 and 25 you must be enrolled with the Selective Service.
  • You must have a high-school diploma, GED, or be able to pass what is called an “ability to benefit” test.
  • The school you are attending must be an accredited college or university that is currently participating in the Pell Grant program—there are roughly 5,400 institutions from across the country that participate in the program.
  • You should be enrolled in an undergraduate, degree-oriented program, most graduate programs don’t qualify, although certain kinds of professional graduate programs do qualify.
  • You must be making satisfactory academic progress as defined by the school you’re attending.
  • You must be able to prove that you are a U.S. citizen, a U.S. national, or eligible non-citizen.
  • You must be able to utilize a proper social security number when you fill-out a FAFSA.
  • Having a drug-related offense on your record may disqualify you, although this will depend on the specifics of the charge, when it happened, and whether or not you have completed a drug rehabilitation program.
  • You cannot have a Pell overpayment on your record.
  • You should not have defaulted on any sort of federal aid in the past.
  • Already having a full-scholarship, presidential scholarship, or 100% scholarship will disqualify you from receiving the Pell.

These are the most vital grant requirements that you must pay attention to if you want become eligible to receive award funding for the current school year. You must pass all of these as long as they are applicable if you want to become eligible, and in combination with having an EFC that is lower than the appropriate cutoff threshold you should not have any problem gaining a positive eligibility status for the upcoming school year.

The actual number your EFC should be lower than the appropriate cutoff threshold, as this is the maximum amount the Department of Education deems admissible for a student to establish their eligibility for the Pell.

Remember that these are the things that you must satisfy to become eligible, and they aren’t necessarily the factors that will determine the actual amount you are able to receive if you are in fact eligible, although EFC plays a large role during this process.

The most crucial factors that will affect the amount that you are able to receive include your EFC, the cost of attendance for the school you are attending, and your enrollment status. Your school will receive your FAFSA and upon establishing that you are eligible will use the appropriate formulas to evaluate your application and materials to produce a final amount that you will be able to receive for that school year.

Just to give you a rough idea of what sort of income levels produce what amounts, the vast majority of college students who receive aid by way of the Pell come from families that make less than 30,000 dollars per year, Some students receive grant funding that come from families that make between 30,000 and 60,000 per year, and students that come from families that make anything higher than 60,000 per year have a much lower chance at receiving aid, although it is still possible.

These are the general income requirements that most experts are going by for the current school year, and hopefully by glossing over them you’ll be able to get a feel for the amount of aid you’ll be able to receive from this federal award.

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