Pell Grants and other Grants and Student Loans Available by the US Department of Education
Did you know that the US Department of Education has grants and loans for people who want to go to school for an undergraduate degree or for going into a trade or vocational school? That’s right, if you meet the right criteria, you can get a grant, loan, or some other financial aid from the US Department of Education. There are several grants available and student loans are also available and are covered in depth in this article.
Pell Grants are the most common grants offered by the Federal Government. These grants typically offer students $5,550 in money which does not need to be paid back, unlike a conventional student loan. Typically, Pell Grants are only available to undergraduate students from low income families. In some cases, a Pell Grant can be given to people who are going into postgraduate studies if they meet the right criteria.
Only individuals who have not yet completed their Bachelor’s or vocational degree can be eligible to apply for a Pell Grant. There may be some exceptions when it comes to people who are doing postgraduate work, but that is a rare case. To be eligible for a Pell Grant, look at the criteria listed below.
- Basic eligibility requirements include being from a family where you meet certain income brackets. Basically, if you are from a low income family and earn less than $20,000 a year, you may be eligible for a Pell Grant. You may find out if your family’s financial situation is within the requirements for a Federal Pell Grant by contacting the financial aid office at the university you plan to attend.
- If your one of your parents was killed in Afghanistan or Iraq while in military service, you may also qualify for a Federal Pell Grant or other Federal grants for military families.
- Students with intellectual disabilities or learning disabilities can be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant or other special grants for handicapped people seeking financial aid. With a disability, you may also be eligible for work study programs at your university.
- Non-US citizens who have a green card may be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant if they meet any of the above eligibility requirements.
There is a certain time frame to be able to apply for a Federal Pell Grant. You need to pay attention to the internet or to information at your school’s financial aid office’s bulletins, many colleges will post Pell Grant information when the application time comes on their bulletin boards.
Pell Grants are mainly to supplement your college costs. You will have to apply for additional grants or loans. You may also loose your eligibility for your Pell Grant throughout the course of your college years.
Ways to stay eligible for getting a Federal Pell Grant every year include staying on track with your graduation, not defaulting on your student loans, and other basic requirements.
Note that when applying for a Federal Pell Grant, you will have to apply for FASFA every year to maintain your eligibility.
Direct loans are another way you can get financial aid from the US Department of Education. Unlike a Federal Pell Grant, however, a direct loan is a student loan which has to be paid back when you complete your studies. You do have to apply for FASFA to be eligible for a direct loan and meet similar criteria to those for a Pell Grant.
There are many different ways to apply for financial aid from the Federal Government and for more information, click here.