Ask any parent and they’ll tell you that the best investment they can make on their kids is an education. With some of the best colleges on the planet it’s no surprise that a lot of parents are doing everything they can to get their kids into an excellent college. But the expenses to send a child through college are astronomical! This is why the Department of Education allows the Federal Pell Grant program. A need based financial aid program that allows qualified students to go to college for free.
Whether or not you qualify for a Pell Grant is determined by how much money your family earns. The best you can do is to file your application and hope that you’re poor enough to merit educational aid. The best thing about the Pell Grant is that you don’t ever have to repay it.
Now follow the steps below:
- Apply early. It’s best you send your application early because there is limited funding for scholarships and grants each year. Scholarships and grants are doled out on a first come, first served basis so you better get a move on! You need to have filled out and submitted your application as early as January or February if you plan to attend college of that year.
- Get the application form. Apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. You can visit them online for detailed information on the application process at FAFSA. You can also ask your school administration about the process or whatever government office nearby for more information.
- Get tax returns. Prepare your or your parents tax return information. You need to prove that you cannot afford the college tuition fees for you to qualify for a grant. The best way to prove this is to show tax returns. It is also important that you provide the information as accurately as possible. Inconsistencies can cause delays and delays could cost you your scholarship or grant.
- Review the application. Make sure you double-check, even triple-check the application! Incomplete application forms could cause you disastrous delays. Make sure you and your parents have signed the application and send it as early as possible. The Pell Grant allows applicants a June deadline, but don’t wait until the last minute to send it!
The government awards Pell Grants to students who are clearly financially unable to go further their education. These are direct college grants from the government to qualified needy students wanting to go to college. Your eligibility depends on which income tax bracket you or your parents belong to.
Be advised that the Pell Grant isn’t the only grant or scholarship you can apply for. A quick visit to your school’s guidance counselor or administrative assistant will give you an idea on what other avenues are available for you to go to college. Don’t put your eggs in one basket, apply for as many scholarships and grants as you can and then just decide which one you will go with in case you’re given more than one. You’ll find that sometimes your persistence is rewarded. Good luck and don’t give up!