Pell Grant Income Requirements

The most asked question I get about grants or even financial aid in general is what is the income requirements for getting the Pell Grant. There are no black and white income requirements to receive the Pell Grant. There is much more to the complicated mathematical equation to determine Pell Grant eligibility other than income. It is very possible that there is one family where both parents work and make a total of $30,000 and they would not be eligible and another case where both parents make $40,000 and they student would be eligible for the Pell Grant.

We can not say that income has nothing to do with being eligible for the Pell Grant, but we can say that income is not everything. The other things that the government takes into account when figuring out your expected family contribution are:

  • Income tax paid
  • What state you live in(you get a state tax allowance)
  • If one or both parents work
  • Amount in checking & savings accounts
  • Value of investments
  • Age of older parent(the older the parent, the higher the allowance you get because the closer to retirement age they are)
  • Number of family members in college(this is huge because your EFC is halved for every person in college)
  • Number of people in the household(you also get an allowance for each person living in the household)

In short, income from you and your parents in not the absolute determining factor in whether you are going to get the Pell Grant or not.