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Student Financial Aid - College Grants

Pell Grant:
One of the many potential sources of financial aid available for college
students is a Federal Pell Grant. This grant is a form of need-based financial aid,
and unlike a loan, the money does not have to be repaid. Eligible students receive
a specified amount each year under the Pell Grant program.

Eligibility: The U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula to evaluate
the information a student supplies when applying for a Pell Grant. This formula
produces an EFC (Expected Family Contribution) number, which will determine if
the student is eligible for the grant. Applicants must be undergraduate students
who have not earned a bachelor's degree. Each applicant must be a U.S. citizen or
an eligible non-citizen and needs to have a high school diploma or a GED or to
demonstrate the ability to benefit from the program.

Award Amount: The maximum amount can change each year depending on
program funding. The amount of the grant depends on both the student's EFC and
several other factors. These factors are the student's cost of attendance (tuition
and fees, room and board, books, supplies, and so on) and the amount of time the
student attends school (whether the student goes to school for a full academic
year or less and whether the student is full-time or part-time). An eligible part-time
student can receive a Pell Grant. The amount awarded, however, will be less than
for a full-time student. An applicant may receive only one Pell Grant in an award
year.

Disbursement: A school may credit Pell Grant funds to a student's school
account, pay the student directly (usually by check), or use a combination of these
two methods. The school must notify the student in writing of the amount of the Pell
Grant and of how and when payments will be made. Schools must pay at least
once per term, whether that is a semester, trimester, or quarter. Schools that don't
use formally defined, traditional terms must pay the student at least twice per
academic year.

Time Limit: Current regulations pose no limit on the number of years a student
can receive a Pell Grant as long as the student remains in a degree program as an
undergraduate and does not have a bachelor's degree.

How and When to Apply: Students apply for not only Pell Grants but all federal,
state, and institutional financial aid programs (except scholarships) by completing
the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The paper FAFSA is
available from high school guidance offices, or the form may be completed online
at www.fafsa.ed.gov. The FAFSA must be submitted by the end of June to be
eligible for aid in the following academic year.

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