Pell Grant Qualifications for Unemployed

If you are currently unemployed, you may be eligible for a Pell Grants, which is based on need and depends on the total income of your family.  Financial aid administrators at participating colleges have been urged to take an unemployed person's current economic circumstance into account when determining a student's Pell Grant eligibility.

A student must also meet certain Pell Grant qualifications, which include:

1)  No prior or current federal student loan defaults

2)   Have at least a high school diploma, General Education Development (GED) equivalency or demonstrate the ability to benefit from the education or training offered. 

3)   U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen

4)   Haven't already received a bachelor's degree in the past


5)   No convictions for possession or sale of an illegal drug while receiving Federal Financial Aid.
If you meet the above qualifications and you are unemployed then you may qualify for a Pell Grant.  All Pell Grant applicants must complete the FAFSA application in order to become eligible for any federal financial aid. 

Also, Federal Pell Grants are available if you are taking classes as part of a program that leads to an undergraduate degree or certificate. Pell Grants, can be used to cover a variety of costs, including:

+   Tuition and fees normally assessed;

+   Books, supplies, transportation, and miscellaneous personal expenses, which include Living expenses such as room and board;


+   An allowance for costs expected to be incurred for dependent care for a student with dependents.

If you are recently unemployed, you should discuss your financial aid options with the financial aid department of the school you plan on attending.  Besides Pell Grants, which do not have to be repaid, the school of choice may have other scholarship programs where you do not have to repay the financial aid received.

Pell Grant Qualifications