When I was in school, there were several students I knew that could
not have been there but for the Pell Grant. It is a great program and
I commend you for looking into it.
Unlike traditional loans, Pell Grants, which are Federally funded, do
not have to be repaid. A formula, that has been worked out by
Congress, determines financial need:
Cost of attendence - Expected Family Contribution = Financial Need
You can determine your Expected Family Contribution by downloading The
EFC Formula Guidelines from
(NOTE: This is a 35 page PDF. You must have Adobe Reader to view this
file). You can find your estimated EFC by visiting
Cost of Attendence (COA) is the cost of tuition, on-campus room and
board, and an allowance for books, supplies, etc.
The other requirements can be found at
These requirements apply towards all federally funded scholarship
programs, not just the Pell Grant.
For the 2004-2005 year (7/1/04 - 6/30/05) the maximum Pell Grant is
$4,050. The amount you get is based on the cost of attendence and the
The application process should begin in January of the student's
senior year in high school. The application can be filled out online
at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. This site also provides great
information regarding the Pell Grant and other federal programs
You can find additional information on the Pell Grant and other
financial aid programs from the following resources:
The Student Guide 2004-2005: Types of Federal Student Aid-Federal Pell Grants
Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
FinAid! The SmartStudent Guide to Financial Aid
Thank you for your question and good luck to the student! If you need
any additional clarification, please let me know.