Community College Pell Grant Requirements
If you are or plan to attend a community college then you may be eligible for a Pell Grant to pay for your education. Community college is a great way to receive a quality education for your lower division courses. It really doesnít matter if you complete your lower division at a community college or at a four-year university because once you transfer to a university your diploma will show the school that you completed your undergraduate education. Many students are now attending community college due to the lower costs and the quality education that is offered.
Students that attend a community college and plan to obtain their first undergraduate degree may be eligible to receive a Pell Grant. Students must be considered low-income and in-need of additional financial aid to pay for their education. They must complete and submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which is available to complete online or through paper form. This application takes into account the applicantís income (if the applicant is an independent student) or familyís income (if the applicant is a dependant student), family assets, cost of attendance, and number of dependantís in the family. Once all this information has been submitted within the FAFSA, the student will receive a SAR (Student Aid Report) outlining the information shown in the FAFSA. Applicants should use this opportunity to make any changes or fix any errors that appear in the SAR.
Student Aid Report (SAR)
The SAR (Student Aid Report) will have the applicantís EFC score within the report. An EFC (Expected Family Contribution) will determine if an applicant is eligible to receive a Pell Grant for the upcoming school year. Students that have a low EFC score will receive a higher Pell Grant amount, while others with a high score may not receive a Pell Grant. Each year, the maximum EFC is re-calculated based on the federal governmentís Pell Grant budget and the income level required to receive the maximum amount.
Cost of Attendance
Cost of Attendance also plays a role in Pell Grant amount that a student receives. The chances are far less that a Pell Grant award is receiving when students attend a community college, since the cost of attendance is far less than at many of the four-year colleges and universities. Community college applicants are still encouraged to apply, since their income level may still qualify them for a Pell Grant.
Even if the community college applicant does not receive a Pell Grant due to a low cost of attendance they still may be eligible to receive the BOG Fee waiver. The BOG (Board of Governors) Fee Waiver permits enrollment fees to be waived, which is $45 per unit enrollment fee. Applicants must complete a FAFSA to become eligible for this waiver as well. Eligibility is based on the applicantís income, family size, and must complete both the BOG Fee waiver application and the FAFSA.
The Pell Grant is the largest federal student grant program available. The main purpose of the Pell Grant is the give low-income students to opportunity for a higher education. The funds can only be used towards school expenses, tuition, and school fees. Studentís eligible for the Pell Grant will be contacted by their community collegeís financial aid office. They must notify the student and the method of payment (by credit to the studentís account or directly to the student). If they plan to pay them by check, they must tell the student when the check will be available and where to go to pick it up.