How to Apply For a Federal Pell Grant
In addition to the many college scholarships available to students, the Federal Pell Grant program offers yet another way to obtain the funds to pay for your college education. Like a college scholarship, a Pell grant is not repaid — the monies awarded to you are applied to your college tuition, an amount up to $5,550 per year. You may qualify for a Pell grant, but to receive such funds you need to submit your application.
The process for applying for a Federal Pell Grant is an easy one and involves you submitting a free application for student aid. All students should fill out this form as it determines various financial aid packages you are eligible for including the Pell grant.
When visiting the FAFSA site, you need to click on the link for deadlines and find out what the deadline is for your state. Although you may be months away from a deadline, if the state’s funds run out, then you could be out of luck when it comes to state funding. Apply early and you’ll ensure that at least your application is in on time. You’ll learn the results of FAFSA within a few weeks.
When filling out your FAFSA, you’ll need to include some important personal information including your driver’s license number, your Social Security number, tax returns for the past few years for yourself and your parents, your W-2 forms, and bank statements including your checking account. For applicants that are not U.S. citizens, a permanent resident card or alien registration is needed.
You can download and fill out the FAFSA, mailing it in when done. Or, you can fill it out online. When filling it out online, you’ll need to acquire a PIN and then sign your name with your personal identification number. This is sufficient for an online application while a hard copy will require your personal signature.
Submission and Review
Once your are done with your FAFSA, your application will be submitted and reviewed. You’ll later receive a Student Aid Report or SAR, sent to you via email within 3 to 5 days after your FAFSA has been processed. A paper copy of your SAR will be sent by mail within 7 to 10 days after your FAFSA has been processed and copy of your SAR will be sent to your school. You will also be given the opportunity to review your SAR and provide additional information or corrections as needed.
Your school will send you an award letter and that information will outline the exact amount of money you need to pay for your college education for the upcoming year. FAFSA figures out federal, state and local grants including your Pell grant amount, if any.