Pell Grant Requirements

Learn about the Pell Grant requirements and how to find the Pell Grant application. Pell Grants provide federal grant money to low and middle income undergraduate students. Individual awards vary. For 2016 - 2017 school year, the maximum Pell Grant is $5815.

Last updated on October 24 2016 by College Financial Aid Advice

Pell Grant Eligibility

Pell Grant Requirements

University Minnesota

The basic Pell Grant requirements are:

High school diploma or GED

U.S. Citizen (some non-citizens are qualified)

Enrolled in accredited college or university undergraduate program

Must not have certain types of criminal convictions.

Low to moderate income (Typically less than $40,000 per year).

There is no exact income number that qualifies you for a Federal Pell grant. Your eligibility depends on multiple factors, including income tax paid, what state you reside in, if one or both parents work, value of bank accounts and investments, age of parents, number of people in the household, and number of family members attending college.

Pell Grant Application 2017

The Pell Grant application is the same one for other federal student financial aid - the FAFSA. Submit a FAFSA either online or paper based application. Apply as early as possible in the year, as funds for most grant programs are limited.

You may also be eligible for state grants and scholarships based upon your Pell Grant eligibility, or some private scholarships such as the Gates Millenium Scholarship.

The Federal Pell Grants program is moving toward requiring Pell Grant applicants to use tax data from the IRS to report their income section, based upon their federal tax return. This can be done by using the IRS data retrieval tool during the FAFSA online application process.

Your FAFSA information will determine your EFC or Expected Family Contribution. The lower your EFC means you are more likely to meet the Pell Grant requirements. Typically an EFC of 5500 or less means your Pell Grant eligibility looks good.

Need Based Scholarships and Grants

If you meet the Pell Grant eligibility criteria, you might also be eligible for other need based scholarships and grants, such as:

Gates Millenium Scholarship

Pepsi Scholarship

Scholarships for Minorities

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant - see

HomeFederal Pell GrantsPell Grant Requirements


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