Low Down on Pell Grants

by Brandi

Cornell University

Cornell University

First off, what is a pell grant? It is an award of money usually to undergraduates from FAFSA to families who are in need from U.S. Department of Education. Many people including myself did not even think I would receive this. Well, I did! I received 1,000 dollar pell grant from the U.S. Department of Education that went towards my school each year.

How easy was it you may ask? First, my mother and I filled out the FAFSA application online, and a few months later I found out I was eligible for financial aid. I received a pell grant to my college where it was used to pay for tuition.

This also might surprise you that I received the pell grant as an Illinois citizen, but it was also transferable to a Missouri college. In case you didn’t know, that your financial aid goes where you go, and most colleges do accept it.

Coming from Illinois with a bad/lower economy, I did not expect to receive much financial aid because I did not know anyone else who had any, plus my older siblings never got any. However, after going to college and talking to friends, many people do receive financial depending on your family’s financial problems. I believe I received this aid because I was the first one in my family to go to college, and my parents were divorced. However, every little bit helps, and it never hurts to just fill out the FAFSA application and see what you are eligible for!

It also never hurts to check out your state’s financial aid percentage so see if your state does get a lot of aid. Do not over-estimate financial aid. Just because your friend did not get it, does not mean you don’t have a chance of getting it. Again I urge you to fill out the FAFSA and look into receiving Pell grants.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Brandi for sharing your experience with a Pell Grant. Many families think they are not eligible, but it is easy to apply with the FAFSA and depending on family circumstance, you might be eligible. Best of luck to you.

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Scholarships and Pell Grants

by Trenton

When signing in for college there are three things to consider: #1 Is the college I’m applying for going to help me fulfill what you want to a career?, #2 Do you have to needs to be accepted?, and #3 how much is it?

College tends to cost a lot of money and there are several ways to pay for it. Whether it be scholarships, Pell Grants, Government aid or a mixture of the three.

Some schools offer scholarships to those that are academically prosperous in high school and in order to maintain them you must retain a 3.0. If you do not receive these scholarships that's okay because there are a myriad of other scholarships that can be obtained in several different ways such as essays, contest, or even through helping the surrounding community. Scholarships are the best type of financial aid because you do not have to pay it back. If you are unable to obtain enough scholarships before your school year starts you can apply for government aid. The best place to apply for this is (WWW.fafsa.gov) there they will be able to approximate how much money you are able to borrow and send that information to the schools you choose on the site. If you have scholarships along with your aid it is best to look on your schools website to see how much money you need and only take what government financial aid is needed because it will have to be paid back in the long run.

Sometimes when applying for government aid you can receive Federal Pell Grants, Pell grants can only be received by those that show great financial need and in some cases can pay for the full amount of your college stay. Pell Grants, like scholarships, do not have to be paid back.

Read more College Financial Aid Tips from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Trenton for reminding everyone that Scholarships and Pell Grants are two great ways to pay for college, as these do not need to be repaid. Good luck to you.

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Nontraditional Students Still Get Pell

by Wendy

Over 30 years ago I graduated from high school with high honors and decided to go to college but money was an obstacle. Although I had started working at age 12 and I saved part of my earnings, I knew it would not have been enough for college. I had to fully support myself financially since the age of 17 and actually had my own apartment throughout my senior year in high school. I knew going to college was my best option but money was a tremendous issue to overcome.

When I found out that I was going to receive the Pell grant, I was elated. Finally, I got a break that was in my favor. Although my dad was in the Navy, he didn’t make that much money. I had to buy my own essentials, i.e. shampoo, haircuts, clothing, toothpaste, and other things since the age of 12. At one point I had three jobs while in my senior year but was still able to graduate in the top 5% of my class. I was thankful to have received the Pell Grant which helped me out tremendously for my first year of college.

After attending a university for a full year, I quit school to “make” money. I did end up getting an Associate’s Degree but found myself still working two jobs. I had always thought of going back to school to be a nurse but had family obligations that were more important to me. When my youngest turned 16, I realized that my kids were all very independent and that I had more time to dedicate to studies. I filled out the FAFSA and was notified that I would again receive the Pell Grant. This was another wonderful break since I had been working two jobs barely making ends meet.

There was a little complication with receiving the Pell though since I had already had over 60 credit hours but through diligent follow-up I was able to receive funding for 25 more credit hours at the junior college level. My goal is to get a BSN degree which will open up the opportunity to get more credit hours hopefully assisted with aid from the Pell Grant once I finish my pre-requisites at a lower tuition rate.

The Pell Grant program has been a blessing because it is “free” money that goes to students who show a financial need. With the Pell Grant, I will be able to go back to school and then with my new degree I will be able to give back to the community through a highly-skilled, caring occupation.

Thanks Wendy for sharing how the Pell Grant worked for you.

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The Miracle of Pell Grants

by Selena

Going to college is one of the best things you can do in life to further your education. College is more than just more schooling for your mind, but instead it is also a wonderful investment to make in your career. Many of us fail to go to college however due to the many obstacles that seem to stand in our way.

Financial need is one of the biggest obstacles that many people face when it comes to wanting to go to college. I myself know what it is like to worry about where I am going to get the money each year to pay for college. I understand the struggle of tuition and I am here to inform you that paying for college does not have to be so difficult after all. There are many forms of financial aid out there to help aspiring college students with their tuition payments.

The Pell Grant happens to be one of the financial aid options. It is a grant that you apply for by filling out the FAFSA application and according to you and your families income that is what determines the eligibility of how much you could possibly acquire from the Pell Grant. The Pell Grant offers you up to $5,000 a year in financial aid to help you in paying for tuition, books, gas, and anything else having to contribute to your education in college. Anyone who is eligible for the Pell Grant can continue to apply for it every year for five years. How amazing is that!

Without the Pell Grant I would have not been able to afford college as easily as I can afford it at the moment. I was eligible for the full $5,000 this year as I entered college as a freshman and I can honestly say that it has made a tremendous difference in helping me to further my education. Without the Pell Grant here to help me I would have not been able to afford college and I am thankful that this type of aid is out there in the world for people who are trying to further their education and work towards their careers.

So I advise anyone who will be applying for college or is now currently enrolled in college to please fill out the FAFSA and see if you are eligible for the Pell Grant. It will be a wonderful investment in your education and it will help you in an extraordinary way because your mind is a wonderful thing to invest in.

Read more tips about Federal Pell Grants from other students and parents who have been through process.

Comment from your friendly team at College Financial Aid Advice

Thank you Selena for sharing your story The Miracle of Pell Grants. Pell Grants are designed for low-income students, and it is a wonderful program if you qualify. The money does not need to be repaid. Good luck to you.

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