Although there are many different ways to find money for college, receiving a Federal Pell Grant for your education can be an excellent way to help lower your out of pocket costs. While a service member can find money for education with the GI Bill or Tuition Assistance, the Pell Grant can help children and spouses be able to to find some money for school too.
What Are Federal Pell Grants?
A Federal Pell Grant is money from the government for education that does not have to be repaid like a student loan has to be.
The amount of the Pell Grant changes year to year, the max for the 2020-2021 school year is $6,345.
The amount you will receive will depend on your Expected Family Contribution (EFC,) the cost of attendance, your status as a full-time or part-time student, as well as your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
Sometimes you can receive up to 150% of your scheduled Pell Grant Award for the year. This would happen if you received some of the award in the fall, some in the spring and then you were eligible to receive some money in the summer. This is called, “year-round Pell.”
You can not receive the Pell Grant for more than 12 semesters, which is about six years. If you are going to be close to the limit, you will be notified.
What If You Had a Parent Who Died in Iraq or Afghanistan?
If your parent or your guardian was a member of the US Armed Forces, and died because of their military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after 9/11, you might be eligible for additional Federal Pell Grant funds if you were less than 24 years old, and enrolled in a college or career school at least part-time at the time of their death.
If you do qualify for this and were already eligible for the Pell Grant, your eligibility will be re-calculated as if your EFC were zero. Payments will be adjusted if you were enrolled less than full-time.