Hi, This is JR the College Money Man, giving you my Daily Scholarship and Financial Aid Tip in about two minutes.
This is episode 3, and today we are covering Pell Grants. The Pell Grant is the one of the most well-known of the Federal Financial Aid Grants. The Pell Grant is a non-loan based aid program administered by the federal government. That means, students don’t have to pay it back when you finish school. The grant has nothing to do with merit, major, or career path. It simply relies on one number to decide a students eligibility.
To qualify, applicants must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA
The school students eventually attend will check their EFC and figure based on that number if they qualify to receive a Pell Grant. Now here’s the rub; while the maximum Pell Grant in 2013 was $5550, this amount fluctuates depending on the number of semester hours a student takes. It also fluctuates depending on your EFC number. For example, a student that’s registered for 12 semester hours, and has a Zero EFC would qualify for the full grant amount of $5550. (Review the EFC Table for this year)
As we mentioned before, the EFC is like a golf score; the lower the better. To qualify for a pell grant of any amount, a students EFC must not exceed $5645 for the 2013-2014 school year. Any score above that amount will disqualify a students from receiving a Pell Grant. So the key is the keep your EFC low by using EFC reduction strategies.
But here is a quick tip for students and parents; Parents and students should review their prior years taxes. The FAFSA uses the Adjusted Gross Income, or AGI as a part of its analysis. Its important to review tax information for potential errors and missed deductions. You can do it for free at H&R Block. Every dollar you can legally deduct to lower the AGI, will reduce a students EFC. So if any error exist, correct them as fast and accurately as you can. then use the corrected numbers to complete the FAFSA.
Go to Collegemoneyman.com and look at our FAFSA Tables Page to download a spreadsheet copy of this years EFC and Semester Hours Grid,to get an idea of what you or your child may receive based on the students EFC.
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