Understanding Pell Grants for College

Pell grants are the most common type of financial aid for college students, with thousands of students every year receiving this money to assist with tuition, books, and living expenses. The Pell grant can be received through your college if you have met the eligibility requirements for the aid.

What is The Pell Grant?

Pell grants are a type of financial aid that doesn’t have to be repaid, even if you don’t get your college degree. The amount of the grant is a minimum of $500, and a maximum of $5,500 per student. Students receiving the grant will notice that the money is split between the spring and fall semesters, with disbursement being right around the beginning of each semester. Some colleges require you begin and attend classes before disbursement, while others offer early disbursement before classes begin.

What Can I Use My Grant For?

Pell grants are typically first used to pay tuition for each semester, with any remaining amounts being given to you directly. If your grant is more than the amount of your tuition, your college will give you a check for the remaining amounts. The amount that is left over from tuition can be used for any school related expense, including books and supplies and living expenses. The money isn’t regulated after your tuition is paid, so the way that you spend it is up to you.

How Do I Qualify?

Qualifications for Pell grants are based on your or your parent’s financial status. Students may need to supply their tax information to the school they are attending to ensure they are eligible for the grant or their parent’s tax information if they are a dependent student. All public colleges can process a Pell grant that can be used to help you pay tuition for your education.

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