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The Federal Pell Grant Program provides need-based grants to low-income undergraduate students who have not yet earned a bachelor's or professional degree to promote access to postsecondary education. Grant amounts are dependent on: the student's expected family contribution (EFC); the cost of attendance (as determined by the institution); the student's enrollment status (full-time or part-time); and whether the student attends for a full academic year or less.
In order to apply for a Pell Grant you must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can learn more about this process online at www.fafsa.gov.
The Pell Grant can be used to pay your tuition, or, if your tuition is covered by other means, help with your fees, books, supplies and transportation costs. A grant is an award that does not have to be repaid. Your Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) as noted on your Federal Student Aid Report determines your Federal Pell Grant award amount. The Pell Grant chart shows the amount of Pell Grant you may be eligible for in the academic year. Click here for the Pell Grant Chart for 2017-2018.
Pell-specific eligibility requirements are that the student either be an undergraduate or be in an eligible degree granting program, and not be incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution, be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, have a valid Social Security Number and be making satisfactory academic progress.
Effective July 1, 2012, eligibility for the Pell Grant was limited to 12 terms of full-time payments or its equivalent. Semesters are counted based on the portion of a full-time equivalent, so that a half-time equivalent is counted as half a semester toward the 12-semester limit. Students can track their remaining Pell Grant eligibility on www.nslds.ed.gov (National Student Loan Data System) or on www.studentaid.gov.