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Federal Pell Grants

Pell Grant Information:

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Generally, Pell Grants are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelorís or professional degree. (A professional degree is usually obtained after a bachelorís degree in a field such as medicine, law, or dentistry.) In some cases, you might receive a Pell Grant for attending a post-baccalaureate teacher certificate program.

Pell Grants are usually a foundation of financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added.

How do I qualify?

To determine if youíre eligible, the U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula, established by Congress, to evaluate the information you report when you apply. The formula produces an EFC number. Your SAR contains this number, in the upper right portion of page 1. This number will determine if youíre eligible for a Pell Grant and for how much.

If your EFC is below a certain amount, you’ll be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements. There isn’t a maximum EFC that defines eligibility for the other financial aid programs. Instead, your EFC is used in the following equation to determine your financial need:

Cost of Attendance*
— Expected Family Contribution
= Financial Need

How much money can I get?

Pell Grants for the 2003-2004 award year (July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004) will depend on program funding. The maximum Pell Grant for the 2002-2003 award year was $4,000. How much you get will depend not only on your EFC but also on your
cost of attendance,* whether youíre a full-time or part-time student, and whether you attend school for a full academic year* or less. You may receive only one Pell Grant in an award year, and you may not receive Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.

How will I be paid?

Your school may credit the Pell Grant funds to your school account, pay you directly (usually by check), or combine these methods. The school must tell you in writing how and when youíll be paid and how much your Pell Grant will be. Schools must pay you at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that donít use formally defined, traditional terms must pay you at least twice per
academic year.

Can I receive a Federal Pell Grant if Iím enrolled less than half time?

Yes, if youíre otherwise eligible. You wonít receive as much as if you were enrolled full time, but your school must disburse your Pell Grant funds in accordance with your enrollment status and canít refuse you an award simply because youíre enrolled less than
half time.

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