Federal Pell Grant Program: Higher Education for Less

It’s no secret that college is flat-out expensive. The cost of higher education has risen dramatically year over year, to a point where many families feel priced out of sending their kids. This is a major problem: not only do these kids miss out on critical education, the universities are seeing declining attendance rates.

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One way to help combat these rising costs is through the Federal Pell Grant Program. This federal program allocates money to students based on their financial needs. The Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, allows students to apply for a Pell Grant.

What is a Pell Grant?

A Pell Grant is a cash award with a maximum per year of roughly $6,000 that is given to students who qualify through the FAFSA application process. The money isn’t a loan: it’s a grant. This means that it doesn’t need to be paid back like a student loan, making it ideal for students who are worried about their future debts.

The amount of money each student receives in the form of a Pell Grant depends directly upon their financial situation, their status as a student (full-time versus part-time) and the cost of their education. When weighing all of these factors, full-time students with less financially wealthy backgrounds tend to get the largest Pell Grants.

Who Gets Pell Grants?

Any student can apply for a Pell Grant through the FAFSA program. This program is meant, primarily, to aid students from less well-off families, and is primarily used to help college be more affordable for those with less money. As such, if you really need the help, it’s likely you’ll receive it.

Not everyone who applies gets a Pell Grant, though. Even if you do receive such a grant, it’s likely you won’t receive the cap amount. Make sure you plan accordingly: you should have a plan for how to cover the full cost of your education before applying for any financial aid.

In addition to scholarships and loans, Pell Grants can help students from all walks of life receive a higher education. If you’re considering attending a university, keep the FAFSA program in mind.