What are Pell grants?
Pell grants are a free source of financial aid that, unlike student loans, do not have to have paid back. They are part of a federally sponsored and administered program that provides need-based college grants to low-income undergraduate students.The amount will vary based on a student's financial need and their expected family contribution (EFC), the costs to attend their chosen school, whether they are a full-time or part-time student, and their plans to attend school for a full academic year or less. In order to qualify for a Pell grant, you must be a US citizen. You also must be working towards an undergraduate degree. If you have already obtained a bachelor's degree, you cannot be awarded Pell grants. The award amount can and usually does change every year. For the 2014–15 award year (July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015), the maximum award will be $5,730.
Still confused? Learn more about Pell grants:
- how do I go about obtaining a Pell grant to help me return to school?
- Pell grants at the US Dept. of Education
- Financial Aid Help and Resources
- How to Dissect a Financial Aid Award Letter
- Ask a question!
View the entire Glossary of College & Education Terms
Updated March 2014