Federal Pell Grants
The most common and widley available financing method among grants and scholarships is the popular Federal Pell Grant program available for students entering college. This programm is one of the goverment offers that truly give you free college money. Students who are elgible for this grant do not have to pay back the money they recieved after finsishing their education. This fact makes the Pell Grant on of the most popular grants among college students.
Family Income and Grades
Another big advantage of the Pell Grant is the fact that this scholarship is not awarded based on grades like most other scholarships. The Pell Grant is designed to help families with a low income put their kids through college. Those who have significant financial needs are eligble to aply for the Pell Grant. The application and eligibility is very unclear so there is no boundary on the familiy income and the eligibility for the pell grant. It all depends on various factors.
Financial Compensation may vary
Every year the govement decides on the educational budget for the next year. Depending on this decision the amount of money payed out through the Federal Pell Grant program may vary. The decision of the goverment is based on economical factors like the overall budget, the economic situation of the country but also depends on how much money the classes will cost, how many students are enrolled full time or what the Expected Family Contribution is going to be. In the school year 2008-2009, the total amount a student could receive through the Federal Pell Grant program was $4,731. This can not cover all the educational costs and most of the time other scholarships and grants are necessary.
Difference between Federal Finance Programs and Pell Grants
A big difference between the Federal Pell Grant program and federal loans is the fact, that a student reciving the Pell Grant is not subject to the livetime cap. This means that theoretically there is no limit on how much money a student can recieve from the goverment.
When a student recieves a federal loan, there is a limit on how much money a student can borrow. Another disadvantage in recieving money through a federal loan is that the student has to pay back the money after finishing his education. When recieving a Pell Grant the student does not need to bay back the money.
But the Pell Grant is only available for your primary education. This means that the Pell Grant money is only available untill you finish your first bachelor degree. If that takes you eight years, then the money is available to you for eight years. If you want to continue your education with a Master or PhD programm you will not be eligble for a Pell Grant.
Application Process and Eligibility
The only way to apply for the Federal Pell Grant program is via the FAFSA form. When filling out the form be sure to fill it out honestly and correctly because any deception of income or assets will reult in a diqualification from the Pell Grants Program, high fines and also possible jailtime. The FAFSA serves the purpose to determine your Expected Family Contribution and based on that the amount of money you will recieve. To determine Pell grant eligibility is very complicated. So please also fill out the form if you think your family earns to much money. The process of determining how much money you are eligible for is very complicated and depends on many different factors. Maybe you have the Pell Grant eligibility and dont even no of it yet.
You will have to fill out the form for a federal loan program anyway so just go ahead and fill it out including the Pell Grant application. The next thing you do when you apply for a pell grant is to send the filled out form to your school where the schoon will subtract the Expected Family Contribution from the cost of attendance to determine how much you will be expected to recieve.
If you are eligible for the Pell Grant you will recieve an award letter after the Pell Grant application process is over. The Pell Grant is the best but also most basic grant program available. The application process is difficult and the students eligilibity often unclear but ist worth to apply for everone because you just might be eligible and dont know it yet. While waiting for your award letter be sure to find some other sources that will give you money for your college education because the Pell Grant is a very basic grant program that wont cover all your school costs.