Federal Pell Grants for College

About Federal Pell Grants

When you are looking to finance your education, Federal Pell Grants are one of the first things you should consider. That’s because in most cases this is completely free money. It’s offered to students who can show an “exceptional financial need” and have not completed a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. The only exception to that rule is some students enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teaching certification program may receive a Federal Pell Grant.

These grants do not need to be repaid in most cases. You should explore your eligibility before looking at loans regardless of how good the terms are.

If you need additional funds beyond a grant, take a look at Federal Student Loans, and lastly Private Student Loans if you still have additional needs.

What are the Requirements?

The stated requirements for a Federal Pell Grant for college is “exceptional financial need.” According to Scholarships.com that means a families total income cannot exceed $50,000. But that said, the majority of these grants still go to families whose income is under $20,000 per year.

To see if you are eligible, you will need to fill out a FAFSA. This will need to be done every year while you remain in school.

General requirements for a Federal Pell Grant are:

  • Fill out a Free Application For Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Show exceptional financial need
  • Be an undergraduate enrolled in a Bachelor’s program
  • Must be pursuing your first Bachelor’s degree
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • GPA above 2.0
  • Not been in default on another student loan
  • Not owe any repayment on other grants

How Much Money Can I Get?

The amount of money you get is based on the level of need and is capped at $6,195 for the 2019-20 award year.

The level of need is based on a number of factors including:

  • Family contribution
  • Cost of attendance
  • Whether you are full-time or part-time


When to Apply for a Pell Grant?

You can submit your FAFSA on October 1 of each year. Submit this application as soon as possible since these grants are given on a first-come, first-serve basis.

You will need to re-apply for a Federal Pell Grant each year that you want one. So keep the October 1 date on your calendar and make sure to complete your FAFSA each year.

Are you over 40? Join our fast-growing community to get discounts and articles tailored to your busy life.