Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grant

The Federal Pell Grant is considered gift-aid because it is funding that does not need to be paid back. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Education and it is designed to help fund your college education!

The Federal Pell Grant is a grant based on a student’s Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) provided to eligible students by the Department of Education. The Pell Grant, unlike a loan, generally does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants are usually awarded only to undergraduate students who are pursuing their first bachelor’s degree.

You should start by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Based on the information you provide on the FAFSA you may or may not be eligible for the Pell Grant. You will have to fill out the FAFSA every year you’re in school in order to stay eligible for federal student aid. 

Amounts can change yearly. The amount you get will depend on:

  • your Expected Family Contribution (as determined by your FAFSA),
  • the cost of attendance (determined by your school for your specific program),
  • your status as a full-time or part-time student, and
  • your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

You might! This will depend on whether you meet the standards for enrollment and financial need as outlined in the “How much money can I get?” section above. Don’t forget to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as your first step towards determining eligibility.

The Pell Grant is dependent on the number of units that you are enrolled in at any given time. If your enrollment changes during the semester, it may impact the amount of Pell Grant you receive. Visit our Pell Recalculation Policy page for more detailed information.

To learn more, visit the Department of Education's Pell Grant page.