Pell grants are an excellent means to pay for your college education, without actually paying. Unlike most of the programs, federal Pell grants are easy to avail of, yet most unnoticed due to the sheer lack of awareness. However, these grants are the best option for your college fee as they are free money that need no refunding. Nevertheless, certain eligibility criteria exist for these grants, and to qualify, you need to fulfill all of them.
One thing to be noted here – Pell grants and its criteria evolve on a yearly basis and the 2011-2012 school sessions is no exception.
A recent vote in Congress and simply ripped a student of the opportunity to avail two awards for the year 2011-2012. Some changes in the criteria have also been noticed in this regard as well.
The Federal Pell grants eligibility criteria are listed below:
- You must be a United States citizen or an eligible citizen of any other country.
- If you are a permanent citizen of the country then you must have an Alien Registration card, either I-551 or I-551C.
- You are also eligible if you are a migrant, on parole or asylum granted, but only if you have the arrival departure record I-94 by the Immigration and Naturalization Service Department.
- Even if you are living on your own, without the support of your parent you are still considered eligible.
- As for applicants living with their families, the household income must not be above $50000 per annum.
- The main criterion for Pell grant eligibility is that you must have enrolled in an orientation program for undergrad courses and must have made acceptable academic progress. However, one thing must be mentioned here – your chosen university or college must be a participant in the Pell grants program.
- You must also have a high school diploma or a GED certificate.
Although qualifying for Pell grants requires you to go through a lot of paper work and you must produce an income proof of your family’s annual income. However, the effort certainly pays off after you receive the grant money to fulfill your dream of getting a college education. To know more about the criteria and application procedures, you must do a thorough research over the internet. The government websites can be a great help for you to apply for Pell grants and other type of government funded grant programs.