Pell Grants, the federal government’s biggest funding program for low income college bound students. This educational grant program has helped students pay for their education expenses since the program was created back in 1965 by the Higher Education Act. This grant does not have to be repaid and the money from this grant can be used at any one of the 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions which include colleges, universities and vocational schools.
These Pell grants are basically the foundation of the financial aid package that a student receives from the government and from there other types of aid may be added to further assist the student with paying for the cost of attending college. In order for a student to know if they qualify for a Pell Grant they must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online at the FAFSA website. Once the form is submitted the US Department of Education will use the financial information the student provided on the FAFSA along with a standard formula to determine what the student’s expected family contribution (EFC) this will determine if the student qualifies for the Pell Grant and other additional aid.
If a student is awarded a pell grants Pell Grant they may only use the money from the grant on the following college related expenses:
- College or trade school tuition
- Costs related to room and board
- Transportation costs that are directly related to getting to/from school and school activities
- Required course books, notebooks and related school supplies
- Computers, if required by the school
- Required classroom supplies and lab equipment
- Uniforms, if required
- All associated school fees and taxes
If there is money left over after the Pell Grant pays for the above expenses that go through the Bursar office the school will issue you a check for the difference and may add a living stipend to help with the associated everyday expense related to attending college.
Another thing to keep in mind are the following issues can disqualify your Pell Grant award: – GPA below 2.0 – Expulsion from the college, university or vocational school – Being convicted of crime against other students or a federal crime or a crime related to sexual assault or drugs
Pell Grants are given so that a student can be successful in their college career and the government wants the student to be serious about their education. This is why they have the above rules to protect the program from those students that are receiving funds but just wasting them and playing the system.