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Pell Grants

What Is a Pell Grant?

Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded to only undergraduate students who have not already earned a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. The occasional exceptions are students enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program. The goal of this federal grant program is to help undergraduates from low-income families afford college and complete a degree without accumulating large amounts of student-loan debt.

Amounts awarded through the Pell Grant program are determined by:

  • Your expected family contribution
  • The cost of attendance at your school
  • Your status as a part-time or full-time student
  • Your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less

The maximum Federal Pell Grant award for the 2020-21 school years is $6,345. However, it’s possible for Pell-eligible students to receive up to 150% of their award each school year—including summer semesters. Doing so can help students finish their degrees faster and move into their careers.

Are you eligible for a Federal Pell Grant? To qualify, you:

    • Must be a U.S. citizen
    • Must not have already earned a bachelor’s degree, graduate degree, or professional degree

Note that you can receive funding from only one school at a time, so students who are dually enrolled will only qualify for funding to attend one of the schools.

To apply for a Federal Pell Grant, simply fill out and submit the FAFSA. This can be done online. As always, the earlier you apply, the better. It will increase your chances of qualifying for the most aid money. Remember: you must resubmit the FAFSA every year to continue to receive federal financial aid.

Pell Grant Resources