Education is the right of every individual. However, with the cost of going to college nowadays, some can’t help but wonder if education is going will now be more of a privilege rather than a right. It is a good thing that there are institutions in place that would assure that financial help would be provided to those who are really deserving. Financial assistance for education or commonly known as the Pell Grant, assist students with the expenses of college education depending on their financial condition. And the best part about the federal Pell grant is that it is free, you do not need to pay it back, the best thing that you can do as a recipient of the grant is to study hard, get good grades and graduate from college. Wouldn’t be hard to do, right?
- Eligibility. If you have at least 2 vehicles, living in an affluent house, can go shopping once a week for those branded items, well then this grant is not for you. There are specific conditions before a student can get an approval. Only those that can be considered as financially handicapped can be eligible for this type of financial assistance. It should not matter if you will be a full time student or not, as long as you will take units and continue college, you may be eligible for the grant.
- Supporting documents. If you feel that you have a shot at the grant, by all means apply for the slot. Be sure to have the supporting documents first to prove your eligibility for the program. You will be required to provide information such as your tax returns if you are a low-income undergraduate and the income tax returns of the parents or guardian will be required as well. Bank statements will be necessary along with your driver’s license to complete your supporting documentation.
- Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Now that you have all the documentations ready, the next thing to do would be to fill up the FAFSA form. You can get it either from the school through the office of the guidance councilor or get it online through fafsa.ed.gov. Take into account that the applications are processed with a first-in first-out rule, it is to your advantage if you could complete and submit the application form early. Remember that the early bird usually gets the worm.
- Getting the grant. After the review of your application for financial assistance, you will get a Student Aid Report (SAR). Whether you get the grant or not, you will be notified through the SAR. If your application meets the criteria and you get approved, you will be informed of the amount you will be receiving from the grant. A detailed instruction on how you can acquire the grant is also included in the SAR.
With the cost of college tuition nowadays, it is crucial for students and families especially with low income budget to find financial assistance. There are a lot of grants and financial supports available for education, all you need to do is research and apply. A lot of the available educational assistance is free; repay it by making good on your grades and graduate from college.