FAFSA Pell Grant

The FAFSA, Free Application for Federal Student Aid, must be completed and submitted by the due date in order to be eligible for the Pell Grant.  The FAFSA can be completed online or can be sent through US mail.  In order to complete and submit the FAFSA online, students must have a FAFSA PIN, which is given when students initially create an account.  Students that plan to complete the paper FAFSA can submit their application through US Mail.  When mailing the application, it is recommended that students request a return receipt as confirmation that the application has been received.

The FAFSA takes into account a studentís current financial situation to determine if they qualify for any type of federal financial aid.  The students or the students parentís income is requested along with copies of income stubs.  Parents are required to input their financial information if the student is considered a dependant.  Students that are independent can complete the FAFSA application using their own financial information.
Students that complete the FAFSA will become eligible to receive both the Pell Grant as well as other federal financial aid, which include student loans (Stafford Loan, Perkins Loan, and Plus Loans) and work study programs.  After the student has completed and submitted the application by the deadline, students will receive a SAR Report reflecting their EFC score.

The SAR, also known as the Student Aid Report, reflects the student information used when completing the FAFSA and indicates an EFC, Expected Family Contribution, score.  This score determines if the student is eligible for any form of federal financial aid.  The lower the EFC score, the better chances are that the student will receive financial aid.
If you are planning to submit your FAFSA before you complete your tax return then you should use estimated numbers to complete the FAFSA. You will have an opportunity to correct any errors later and will be required to update the application after your taxes are filed. Be sure to check the ďwill fileĒ box. The US Department of Education will send an email reminder in April to update the FAFSA information after your federal income tax returns have been filed.

Estimates should be based on the last pay stub and brokerage/bank account statements of the tax year. Itís a good idea to review the previous yearís federal income tax return to ensure that you havenít overlooked a major source of income, such as interest and dividend income, alimony, small business income and rental income. But donít substitute the previous yearís income tax return for the current yearís income tax return, as the numbers may differ. Try to provide as accurate an income figure as possible, because errors in the income figure can yield big changes in your ability to receive a Pell Grant.

The Pell Grant eligibility is based on financial need, so only students considered low-income will receive a Pell Grant.  Students that receive an EFC score of 0 will receive the full Pell Grant amount of $5,550 for the upcoming school year.  Students with a low EFC score may receive some Pell Grant amount, but it is not guaranteed.  Currently, the average Pell Grant award amount is $3,865 with the maximum Pell Grant award amount being $5,550.

Pell Grant Application | Pell Grant Requirements | Pell Grant Amount | 2011-2012 Pell Grant Eligibility | Pell Grant Application Deadline | FAFSA Pell Grant |
2012-2013 Pell Grant FAFSA Application |

Pell Grant Application