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Federal Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who demonstrate extreme financial need based on their FAFSA application. Pell Grants are the real MVP when it comes to paying for college because they do not need to be repaid. 🙌


How is my eligibility/amount of my Pell Grant determined?

The amount of Pell Grant you receive is determined by your expected family contribution that is calculated as a result of your FAFSA, the cost of attendance for your college, and whether you are a full-time or part-time student. 


If I am awarded a Pell Grant, how do I access the funds?

Your college’s financial aid office will either apply to Pell Grant directly to your tuition bill, pay you directly, or a combination of this (e.g. your Pell Grant covers your tuition and fees, so there is leftover funds for living expenses). 


Do I get the Pell Grant every year I am in college?

You must complete the FAFSA each year you are in college in order to determine your eligibility for the Pell Grant (and other forms of federal student aid). You also must make satisfactory academic progress. Your specific college will define exactly what this means, but basically you must earn good grades, take enough credit hours, and successfully complete the vast majority of the classes you begin. 

Pell Grants were created as a result of the Higher Education Act of 1965 that was influential in provided financial aid resources for students who college may not have been accessible to previously. To find more grants (and scholarships) that you may be eligible for, check out our scholarship matching tool.