Pell Grant Requirements for Low Income Students

The Pell Grant is considered a need based grant for students that are in need of additional money to pay for their college education.  Students that are considered low income have the best chances of qualifying for a Pell Grant.  Even though a student may be considered low income, they still need to meet other Pell Grant requirements to become eligible for the full Pell Grant award amount.  Below are the Pell Grant Requirements that low income students must meet to be eligible for the full Pell Grant amount:

1.   Complete the FAFSA Application, which is the official application for the Pell Grant
2.   Show a financial need:  Have an income of $23,000 or less.
3.   Have not completed 12 full-time semesters at a post secondary institution
4.   Receive an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) score between 0 to 4995.
5.   In possession of a high school diploma or high school diploma equivalent (GED)
6.   Have not completed an undergraduate degree program
As you can see from the above requirements, the Pell Grant is not based on academics, but rather financial need.  The lower your income is, the greater the chances are that you will receive a Pell Grant.  Students are still eligible to receive other forms of financial aid, which include scholarships, academic grants, and student loans.  Additional financial aid does not impact the chances of a student receiving a Pell Grant.

The EFC score will determine if you are eligible for a Pell Grant.  The score is based on your income, total assets, Cost of Attendance, and the number of family members in school.  An EFC score of 0 means you qualify for the full Pell Grant award amount for the upcoming school year.  Students can still receive a Pell Grant even with an EFC score higher than 0, but the award amount will be less.  The maximum award amount for the 2012-2013 school year is 4995 to receive the minimum Pell Grant amount.
Starting in 2012 students must now have at least a high school diploma or equivalent to receive a Pell Grant.  Many low income international students that arenít required to hold a high school diploma will no longer be eligible for a Pell Grant.  Also, starting in 2012 students may only receive a Pell Grant if they havenít completed 12 full-time semesters.  Previously, students that hadnít completed 18 full-time semesters were eligible for a Pell Grant.

Students interested in the Pell Grant should complete and submit the FAFSA application, which can be done online or through PDF file.  Make sure you fully complete the application.  All uncompleted applications will not be reviewed for financial aid status.  If you have any additional questions, students are advised to ask their school financial aid office or guidance counselor. 
Pell Grant Requirements