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Federal Pell Grant Eligibility Criteria

Federal Pell Grant Eligibility Criteria

The Federal Pell Grant program, by far, is one of the most popular forms of college funding in the United States but has Federal Pell Grant Eligibility Criteria. This is grant funding, so you don’t’ have to pay it back. The program is oriented toward helping students from lower income families to get the funding they’ll need to go to school and, to that end, there is a specific criteria—Expected Family Contribution—that plays heavily on how your federal Pell Grant application is weighed. There are a host of other criteria you have to meet, as well, however.


Basic Federal Pell Grant Eligibility Criteria

The most basic of the federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria is that you are a US citizen. There are some qualified non-citizens that may get this funding, as well, but the grant is aimed particularly at US citizens. You must also be a full- or part-time student at a qualified school to get this grant. Not all schools do qualify for Pell grant funding. Most any of the schools that do, however, will provide you with the federal Pell Grant application when you enroll, as this program is so popular.



You’ll want to make sure you ask for the federal Pell Grant application if you’re a low income student. If you are, this grant is there to help you get going in school and you should try to take advantage of it.


This grant also requires that you’re seeking your first bachelor’s degree. If you’ve already got such a degree, you do not qualify for the Pell Grant. There are some certification programs, however, that do meet the federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria, so be sure to ask your financial aid department if this is a type of funding you can seek for any certification you may be getting before or after your bachelors.


Special Federal Pell Grant Eligibility Criteria

There are some special federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria that make this an even more attractive program that you should keep in mind. If you had a parent who was an active military member that was killed in the line of duty after September 11, 2001, you may qualify for the maximum amount awarded under this grant. In order to qualify, you must have been a full-time or part-time student at the time of their death or under 24 years of age. If you do meet these qualifications, you can get over $5,000 of funding from this grant.


Part of the federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria is making adequate progress toward your degree. If your grades slip for a semester or you drop down to below official part-time status, you will not qualify for this grant. You’ll have to bring your grades back up or re-enroll to the necessary credit load to re-establish this funding toward your degree.


The federal Pell Grant application will ask you if you have been convicted of a drug-related crime while receiving federal financial aid or if you are currently defaulted on any other student lending. Either will disqualify you from receiving any funding under this program.


The federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria are pretty exacting and there is a great deal of competition for this type of funding. Be sure that you fill out your federal Pell Grant application thoroughly and accurately. A mistake may take you out of the running and, if it’s too late in the year before the error is fixed, you may end up not being able to get the funding in time to pay for the current semester. If you can get it, however, this is one of the best forms of funding that the US government offers students as long as you meet the federal Pell Grant eligibility criteria.