The PELL Grant

Many single mothers may be curious to know exactly what the PELL grant is, what they consist of, and how they can apply for it.

The Pell grant is one in which the United States government gives students money to pay for college who would otherwise be unable to afford it. This particular grant is for those who are in financial need or assistance, live below the poverty line, and who have not earned their first bachelor’s degree through educational facilities to accept this type of grant. The United States Department of Education uses a statistical formula to determine how much money the student will be able to borrow from the government.

In 1965, legislation was enacted which was then titled the higher education act of 1965, which the Pell grant is covered under this legislation. During this time, Pres. Lyndon B Johnson and enacted this legislation to help Americans be able to receive a higher education, and thus earn a degree. However, in 1972, amendments were made to the distribution of how the funds were laid out. A senator by the name of Claiborne Pell set out to reform the HEA. Through Sen. Claiborne Pell’s hard work, the middle income student assistance at of 1978 became an act and was signed by President Jimmy Carter. The purpose of this act, was to further help low income and middle income individuals and students with incomes up to $25,000 be eligible to return back to college by providing them with this financial aid and assistance.

Thus, this new act became the Pell grant.

This grant program helps millions of part-time and full-time students annually, who would otherwise not be able to go to college or continue their education.

Recently, in 2011, there have been many changes to this grant. It used to be that the maximum amount for the Pell grant on an annual basis was $5550. This year however, the maximum amount has changed to $4705. It may not seem like much, but it has a huge impact on current students as well as future students who decided they wanted goat in college and earn a degree. The Pell grant is the most influential grants in existence that provides financial aid for not only single mothers, but anyone who meets the minimum income requirements as set forth by the United States Department of Education.

How To Apply For The PELL Grant

There is only one way that you can apply for the Pell grant. You must fill out the FAFSA. This is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

The school you will be attending whether that be your local community college or a public university should have a financial aid counselor available to consult with and they will be able to help you fill out this form online. If anyone ever tells you that you have to pay them a fee in order to help you fill the FAFSA, it is a scam. Filling out this financial aid form is free for everyone, however, filling it out does not necessarily guarantee that you will be able to get the grant or a loan, however it is completely necessary to see where you stand at a financial point. By filling out this form you will not only be eligible for the Pell grant, but you will also be eligible for many other grants and scholarships that you can apply for once the financial aid office determines your eligibility and what you may be old to qualify for.

Am I Eligible For The PELL Grant?

In order to become eligible for this type of grant, the United States Department of Education has created a formula that they use to determine your eligibility and how much of an award you will receive. The specific formula that they use to determine eligibility is based on the information that you provide through the FAFSA form and is called the Expected Family Contribution formula. You must also be an undergraduate student who has not attained a bachelor’s degree, and a United States citizen with a high school diploma or GED. Please note that if you have a drug conviction while you are receiving your financial aid, then you could possibly forfeit all of your financial aid.

How Much Money Can I Get From The PELL Grant?

The amount of money that you get from the Pell grant will vary, as the United States Department of Education calculates and every applicants EFC (Expected Family Contribution) and determines exactly how much their award will be for. For the year 2010 through 2011, the next mom amounts of the Pell grant is $5550. There are many factors involved that will determine how much money you will receive including the calculation of the EFC, tuition costs, textbook costs, room and board, and your meals, etc. Also the amount of time that you plan on going to college plays a significant role and how much money you will receive. As of the school year 2011-2012, changes have been made to the way the Pell grant operates. Instead of the maximum award amount totaling $5550, the total amount is now $4750.

You can apply for the FAFSA twice during the academic school year. You should speak with your financial aid counselor to determine when you need to fill out your FAFSA. Keep in mind that you will be eligible for many other grants and scholarships as well, so it’s likely that you being a single mother, will be able to practically go to college for free. The great thing about this Pell grant, is that it never has to be repaid, unlike government loans, or any other educational loans for that matter.
So if you think that you cannot afford to go back to school, think again, because with so many options and so much help from the government allowing you to earn your degree and better your life, there is no reason or excuse for you to not follow through with your dreams.

About Georgetta Mills

Georgetta Mills is an avid blogger in the grants, scholarships, and education space. She enjoys helping others find solutions to their problems.
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3 Responses to The PELL Grant

  1. Rolande F says:

    I looking for a new start! So I’m a single mother looking for a place for me and my kids .

  2. Ayla harmon says:

    My name is ayla Harman I’m living with my daughter place to place in cold and it’s not fair I’m going to school to b a cna but right now I have to focus on my child I need help please find it in your hearts to help someone all I want is a place of our own for Christmas make my little girl dream a reality

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