Pell Grants are only available to students who present the greatest financial need. If a financial situation changes in the middle of the school year, this can also affect eligibility. Your eligibility can also change if you provided inaccurate information about your circumstances. It is best to be upfront about your financial situation.
Who Is Ineligible For A Federal Pell Grant?
Often people will combine a Pell Grant with other types of financial aid. The top award for a Pell Grant is around $4,000. This is subject to change but has remained constant since 2002. Because tuition can be over $10,000, the Pell Grant will only cover part of tuition. As a result, students will supplement the aid with other form of financial aid.
It is crucial that you declare these forms of aid in your original FAFSA application. If you don't, the Pell Grant can be revoked or diminished. For example, if you receive another type of scholarship–a gift aid–this will affect your Estimated Family Contribution. The EFC will be higher due to the scholarship, so the Pell Grant award will be lower. If a scholarship was awarded mid-semester, this can also affect the terms of your Pell Grant.
In addition to financial circumstances, the student must also maintain a good economic standing. Pell Grant eligibility can be revoked if the student doesn't make academic progress. Because students need to reapply for the Pell Grant ever year, these considerations–financial and academic standing–will be taken into account and will determine if the Pell Grant will be awarded an additional time.
If the student is not able to go to school on a full-time basis, the Pell Grant will have to be refunded. Students must be enrolled for 60 percent of the school year in order to be eligible for the full payment of the Pell Grant. If you need to withdraw from enrollment due to an emergency or other reason, you must notify the Pell Grant office by a pre-determined date–June for the fall semester–so you do not owe a refund on the Pell Grant.
Students are ineligible for a federal Pell Grant if their Expected Family Contribution does not demonstrate an extreme financial need. The Estimated Financial Need will be subtracted from the Cost of Attendance. This will determine if the student is eligible for a Pell Grant, and if he or she is, how much will be awarded.
Some other considerations: the student must be a U.S. Citizen and cannot have already received a Bachelor's Degree. The Pell Grant is only awarded to incoming or current undergraduates. Finally, the student needs to register for Selective Service.