After Getting a Pell Grant

After a Pell Grant

Millions of dollars are awarded each year in financial aid, student loans, and grants. Most federally funded educational loans and grants require the complete disclosure of a student’s, and their family’s, finances. This is only to be sure that a student is obtaining as much financial support as possible.

Most students will be required to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. This documentation provides the Federal government with a complete financial picture of a family seeking financial assistance with college expenses.

After completing and filing a FAFSA a student, and his or her parents, will receive a Student Aid Report, the SAR. This document lets a family know exactly how much any financial aid office for any college or university will expect them to be able to pay.

The SAR will also indicate quite clearly if a family is suffering under financial need, and this directs a college’s financial aid office to work with the student and their family to obtain a Federal Pell Grant.

A Pell Grant is a single award given for each academic year. The amount may vary from year to year, depending upon the financial status of a student, or their family. The college applies it as a credit towards the student’s total expense. Pell Grants are only awarded to first time college students seeking a Bachelor’s degree. They can be made for students enrolled as part time or single semester students, but this reduces the overall amount.

A Pell Grant is required in order to seek any other Federal grants, including Academic Competitiveness Grants, or ACGs, National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent Grants, or National SMART Grants, and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, or FSEOGs.

An FSEOG is made available only to a student who demonstrates “exceptional” financial need. There are about four thousand colleges and universities that receive FSEOG funding every year. This totals somewhere in the area of seven hundred million dollars, but amounts to each school vary, and a financial aid office can actually run out of money to give to its students.

An FSEOG is available to a student attending an applicable college on a full or part-time basis. The amount awarded depends entirely on the financial aid office of the school where the student is enrolled. The difficulty with an FSEOG is that even if a student is able to receive an award, they may be unable to do so if the funds are no longer available.

In this way a Pell Grant is not a guarantee to further funding, it simply allows a student to be a potential candidate for an award. Where an FSEOG is concerned it is always best for a student to seek one out as soon as they have received word of a Pell Grant award. However, any other awards, or scholarships impact a student’s overall FSEOG.