Pell grant fraud is very serious, but you can avoid it by following a few simple rules when you apply for Federal student aid. Pell grants are grants given to student who meet certain income requirements. They are designed to ensure that students who might otherwise not be able to afford college can get to go to college. Because of this, Federal student aid is highly-regulated and students must provide information to prove the information they include in their application for student aid such as income and savings.
Fighting Pell grant abuse and fraud starts with each school’s student aid department requesting documentation that proves the information you put on your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This can include copies of your Federal income tax return, proof of address, and statements for savings accounts. Financial aid departments often find grant abuse when they request these documents. In fact, one of the first ways schools find abuse is when more than one or two students are using the same address.
The repercussions of Pell grant fraud are far reaching for students.
Investigative reports show that grant abuse and fraud takes money away from students who could really use the money. To help fight fraud, and make sure you are not accused of it, be sure to do the following things. First, be sure to completely and accurately complete your FAFSA. Double check all of the information you provide before submitting it. Then, when your school receives your information, be sure to provide all of the supporting documentation that the school requests.
Be prepared to provide a copy of your identification, your Social Security card or other proof of citizenship, and your Federal income tax return. These items are almost always requested for every application. To stop grant abuse, schools need to request this information because many people who are applying for grants fraudulently cannot produce even these basic things.
Pell grant fraud is a serious issue that affects all students. It lowers the amount of money available for legitimate students who need the money to be able to afford to go to college. You can help prevent fraud by being accurate and honest on your FAFSA application. Also, be prepared to provide proof of your income and other information so that you can quickly and easily receive the Pell grant you are entitled to so that you can pay for your education.