2013-2014 Pell Grant Qualifications

The Pell Grant is awarded to more than eight million low-income college students that are pursing their first undergraduate degree.  Each year, more than $40 billion in Pell Grant aid is disbursed to students that can be used towards any school related expenses, such as room & board, food, school books, tuition, etc.  For the 2013 -2014 academic school year, students eligible for the full Pell Grant amount will receive the maximum $5,635. 

For the 2013-2014 school year, students must complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to become eligible to receive the Pell Grant.  Students must fully complete all sections of the application, which takes into account your current income, all assets, student status (part-time vs full time), total family members in school, and cost of attendance to determine if you qualify for a Pell Grant award.  
Starting in 2012 and continuing in the 2013 school year, undergraduate students are only eligible to receive the Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters.  Students that are close to the 12 semester cap will receive notification from their schoolís financial aid office.  Students are still eligible to attend school after 12 semesters, but they will not be eligible to receive a Pell Grant. 

Students that receive an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) score of zero will receive the maximum Pell Grant amount of $5,635 for the 2013-2014 academic school year.  The EFC score is calculated based on the financial information given within the FAFSA application.  The higher your EFC score, the less likely youíll be eligible for a Pell Grant award.  For the 2013-14 school year, you automatically qualify for an EFC of zero if your family income does not exceed $24,000.

If your parent or guardian was a member of the U.S. armed forces and died as a result of military service performed in Iraq or Afghanistan after the events of 9/11, you may be eligible for additional Federal Pell Grant funds if, at the time of your parentís or guardianís death, you were less than 24 years of age or enrolled in college or career school at least part-time.  If you meet their requirements then your EFC score will be changed to zero and you will receive the maximum Pell Grant award amount.
If you enroll in higher education for the first time on or after July 1, 2012, in order to be eligible for federal student aid, you must have either a high school diploma or a recognized equivalent, which includes a GED or a homeschool education.  Students will no longer have the option of becoming eligible for a Federal Pell Grant by passing an approved test or completing at least six credit hours or 225 clock hours of postsecondary education.

Students with student loans that are overdue are not eligible for a Pell Grant until they are become current with their past due payments.  Itís important to contact your student loan servicer if you find yourself unable to make monthly student loan repayments.

The Pell Grant is a great opportunity for low-income students in need of additional funding to pay for their higher education.  The Pell Grant award does not have to be repaid and all funds can be used towards any school-related expenses.  For the 2013-2014 school year, students arenít required to provide receipts for items purchased with their Pell Grant funds, but that doesnít mean future school years will have the same requirements.  Students interested in the Pell Grant are encouraged to complete and submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) to determine their eligibility.  
Pell Grant Qualifications