Quick information on Pell grants:
- A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid.
- The maximum Pell grant for the 2012-13 award year (July 1, 2012, to June 30, 2013) is $5,550.
- The amount depends on your financial need, costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
- Students may not receive Federal Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.
- You can only receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters.
A Pell Grant is money the federal government provides for students who need it to pay for college. Federal Pell Grants are limited to students with financial need, who have not earned their first bachelor's degree or who are not enrolled in certain post-baccalaureate programs, through participating institutions. A Pell Grant is generally considered to be the foundation of a student's financial aid package, to which other forms of aid are added. The Federal Pell Grant program is sponsored by the United States Department of Education which determines the student's financial need. The U.S Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate financial information reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine the student's expected family contribution (EFC).
The Pell Grant is covered by legislation titled the Higher Education Act of 1965 (HEA), Title IV, Part A, Subpart 1; 20 U.S.C. 1070a. These federal funded grants are not like loans and do not have to be repaid. Students may use their grants at any one of approximately 5,400 participating postsecondary institutions. These federally funded grants help about 5.4 million full-time and part-time college and vocational school students nationally.For the 2010-2011 school year, 7 of the top 10 colleges by total Pell Grant money awarded were for-profit institutions. Students at the top 4, University of Phoenix, Ashford University, DeVry University, and Kaplan University, received a combined total of nearly $1.9 billion in Pell Grant funds.