Pell Grant Application
Students interested in receiving the Pell Grant must complete the FAFSA, which stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The FAFSA takes into account all income, family financial situation, and other monetary measures to determine if you qualify for a Pell Grant. Itís important to realize that the FAFSA is the only application needed to apply for a Pell Grant and no supplemental application is required.
You can complete the FAFSA application either online or by submitting you application to the Department of Education. Your schools financial aid office or high school counseling office will be able to provide you with a FAFSA application. Itís important to submit your application before the deadline or you will no longer become eligible to receive a Pell Grant. The deadline is usually during the first quarter of the year. Each state is different, so itís important to contact your financial aid office to get the specific stateís FAFSA submission due date.
Once you complete and submit the FAFSA application, you will receive an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) score. This score will determine if you qualify for the Pell Grant. The EFC measures your familyís ability to pay for college. Your EFC score is calculated according to a formula established by law, which takes into account your family's taxed and untaxed income, assets, current benefits, your family size and the number of family members who will attend college or career school during the year.
In order to qualify for a Pell Grant, students must have a financial need. Thus, the neediest students will have an EFC score of 0 and may be eligible for the maximum Pell award if their cost of attendance is high enough and if they will be attending full time for a full academic year. Once you have an EFC score, you will be able to calculate your Pell Grant Amount for the upcoming school year.
The FAFSA determines how much you and your family should be able to contribute to your education based on financial information you provide within the application. The application goes into great financial detail. Many questions you will not know off the top of your head, so be patient and allot a few hours if not a few days to complete.
You will need the following information in order to successfully complete the FAFSA application:
1) All student information, which includes social security #, birth date, etc.
2) Tax forms, which includes all financial information.
3) Income Records, which include W-2 of all working parents/students
4) Drivers License
5) Bank Statements
6) Untaxed Income Records
7) All additional statements outlining your income.
Please do not try to submit a lower/higher income/expense # that is different than what is shown in your income/tax documentation. This may delay the application process and will hold up your award decision. The Department of Education has the right to request and review additional documentation if they feel there is lack of information given.
When students apply for a Pell Grant through the FAFSA application, they are also applying for other forms of financial aid, such as the Stafford Loan, Work-Study Programs, and Perkins Loan. This is very beneficial to students, since they are only required to complete one application for multiple forms of federal financial aid.