Pell Grant

The Pell Grant is a grant provided by the government. It can be a good way to pay for your college education, if you’re able to get a decent amount of money each year. Not everyone who applies for the grant receives it though, and not everyone receives enough to help with the high costs of college. However, for some people, the Pell Grant has been quite lucrative, it’s the most popular grants for college. Before you take that next step towards filling out the FAFSA, find out what the federal government looks for when determining who receives an award, and how much applicants should receive.

Eligibility Criteria for the Pell Grant

The federal government reports that students whose household income is under $60,000 can apply for the Pell Grant. However, the students with household income of under $30,000 are the ones that often receive the awards with the biggest amounts.

Awardees must be seeking their undergraduate degree or in their first year of a professional degree. Some students are able to receive the award if they have 12 full-time semesters.

Determining Award Amount

The federal government considers a few factors when determining award amount. It looks at the price of the college or university you want to attend. The pricier the educational institution, the more help you’ll need to attend it. The next factor they look at is your family’s financial situation. If you have a pricey school with low family income, you are in a good position to receive the Pell Grant. This is especially true if you have many people in your family. For example, if you have two or more brothers and sisters, your possibility of receiving an award increases. Finally, the last factor they consider is if you are going to school full-time or part-time. They figure you won’t need as much of an award if you are going to school part-time versus full-time.

How Much Money Is Awarded

In 2013, the highest grant amount was $5,550. The lowest amount grant was $575. In the 2010-2011 school year, the average grant amount awarded was $3,830.

As you can imagine, those with the largest financial strife with paying for college received the most, while the ones that weren’t as desperate for funding receiving a lower amount.

How to Find Out for Sure

The only way to know for sure if you are able to receive the Pell Grant is to apply for it. You can do this easily with the FAFSA application. By completing this one form, you can apply for the Pell Grant and many other grants offered by the federal government.

You can get the FAFSA at your student aid office either at your high school, the college, or at some libraries. You can also download and print it online at

Once you apply, you’ll need to allow a few weeks for it to be processed and reviewed. As long as you’ve included everything the application requests, you should receive information on whether or not you’ve been given a grant and how much you’ll receive.