Pell Grant Program
The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate and certain post-baccalaureate students to promote access to postsecondary education. Students may use their grants at any Title IV postsecondary institutions.
The Pell Grant amounts are dependent on:
1. The student's expected family contribution (EFC);
2. The cost of attendance
3. Whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.
Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time. If you receive the Pell Grant during the regular school term then you may not be eligible to receive a Pell Grant during your summer school courses due to the recent government budget cuts that took effect in 2011.
Financial need is determined by the U.S. Department of Education using a standard formula to evaluate the expected family contribution reported in the FAFSA Application. The fundamental elements in this standard formula are the student's income (and assets if the student is independent), the parents' income and assets (if the student is dependent), the family's household size, and the number of family members (excluding parents) attending postsecondary institutions.
The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) is the sum of:
1. A percentage of net income (remaining income after subtracting allowances for basic living expenses and taxes)
2. A percentage of net assets (assets remaining after subtracting an asset protection allowance).
Different assessment rates and allowances are used for dependent students, independent students without dependents, and independent students with dependents.
After filing a FAFSA, the student receives a Student Aid Report (SAR, which notifies the student if he or she is eligible for a Federal Pell Grant and provides the student's EFC.
Federal Pell Grants are direct federal grants awarded through Title IV schools to students with financial need who have not received their first bachelor's degree or who are enrolled in certain post-baccalaureate programs that lead to teacher certification or licensure.
Participating institutions either credit the Federal Pell Grant funds to the student's school account, pay the student directly (usually by check) or combine these methods. Students must be paid at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that do not use formally defined terms must pay the student at least twice per academic year.