These federally funded grants help almost 10 million full- and part-time college and vocational school students nationally.
Students with family incomes up to $65,000 may be eligible for Pell Grants. However, most Pell awards go to students with family incomes below $30,000. There is no charge to apply for a Federal Pell Grant.
You also must meet certain conditions to receive federal aid.
Students can receive Pell Grants for their undergraduate study until they complete a baccalaureate or their first professional degree (such as pharmacy or dentistry) or have received a Pell Grant for the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters, whichever comes first.
In 2015-2016, the grants range from $626 to $5,775. The average grant in 2013-2014 was approximately $3,629.
Pell Grants are based on a formula that is applied in the same manner to all applicants. The formula is revised and approved each year by the U.S. Congress. The actual award a student receives depends on a number of factors including:
The grants may be used at almost any school the student chooses to attend. Financial aid administrators at each school can tell you whether the institution and its programs are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant Program.
Apply for a Federal Pell Grant by completing the FAFSA on the Web.
The paper FAFSA can also be downloaded at fafsa.ed.gov.
Once the FAFSA has been completed and filed, the progress of the application can be tracked by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center toll-free at (800) 433-3243 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time), Monday through Friday. You also can check the status of your FAFSA online.