Pell Grants Can Help Students Pay For College

May 31, 2017 | | Say something

Once a student reaches the final year of high school they need to think seriously about their next step. Many of them will begin working a full time job while others will continue going to school at a college, university, or trade school. Sadly, the decision they make is often times based on finances or the lack of finances. A lack of funding stands in the way of many graduating seniors who might otherwise attend college and obtain a degree. The good news is there are opportunities to obtain financing through the use of loans and even pell grants. Of course one must qualify for either. Grants are preferred because they are not loans. They do not have to be paid back. Getting a Pell Grant can be a real blessing for a student in need.

The federal government handles the distribution of Pell Grants. Some type of grants require a student to have achieved a certain academic status. Others are only available for those who are seeking a degree in a specific field such as math or science. For these types of grants, the advantage goes to those with excellent grades or an interest in a certain field of study.

On the other hand, Pell Grants are awarded to those who have a financial need. They are aimed at students from low-income families and can be obtained for both graduate and undergraduate studies. The competition for these grants does not take grades or fields of interest into account. They are specifically for students who have a need for college money. Still, there are some requirements.

First, only United States citizens can apply for a Pell Grant. They must also have successfully obtained their high school diploma or have achieved a GED. For these requirements there are no exceptions made. Students seeking a grant of this type are also required to prove their financial need through an application process.

The government uses a standard formula for determining one’s financial status. The income and assets of the student and the student’s parents are considered. An applicant’s household is measured as well. Things like the number of family members and those who are also going to college are part of the assessment.

But there are factors that go beyond qualifying. Once approved for a grant, the size must be determined, and this is done through a formula too. The student and family income, the cost for tuition at the target school, and a full or part time status can all be considered as factors in the final value of the grant.

Students who have proven financial limits obviously receive a great gift should they qualify for a grant, however there are some limits to the program. For example, 5350 dollars is the maximum dollar amount loaned to any student for a given year, and only one grant may be awarded per school per year, meaning the student cannot attend a second school in the same year with grant money. They must also apply for the new year by the end of June prior to the start of school.

Even with the restrictions in place, Pell Grants are an extremely valuable asset for students who might not otherwise be able to attend a post-secondary school and further their education. Qualifying for a grant could make a very big difference in the life of a financially stressed student.

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