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Federal Pell Grant

Type of Aid: Grant

Source of Funds: Federal. U.S. Congress appropriates funds. Department of Education administers and regulates program.

Eligibility Criteria: U.S. citizen or permanent resident, financial need, satisfactory academic progress. This grant is available to students seeking their first Bachelor’s degree.

Application Form(s) Required: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Application Procedures: File FAFSA/Renewal

Application Deadline: Plan to apply at least a few weeks before start of classes.

Amount of Award:Variable. Maximum award for 13-14 Academic Year is $5,645.

Pell Grant Limitations:

As of the 2013-14 academic year, Pell recipients may utilize a lifetime maximum of 12 full-time semester awards, or the equivalent. See how the Department of Education calculates your Pell usage

You can only have Pell grants at one school at a time.  If you are dually enrolled at more than one school in a given semester, you can only have Pell Grant at one of the schools.

Grant and Scholarship Comparison Chart

Need Based?
Minimum Enrollment

Graduate Student
Eligibility?*

Lifetime Limit?
On-Time FAFSA Filers Only
Yes
1 credit hour
No
12 semesters
No
Yes
6 credit hours
No
No, but must be Pell Grant eligible
No
No
1 credit hour
No
12 semesters
Yes
Yes
12 credit hours 
Professional Medicine Only 
4 years
Yes
No
12 credit hours
Professional Medicine Only
4 years
Yes
No
1 credit hour
Yes
124 credit hours
No
No
12 credit hours
No
8 semesters
No
Varies
Varies
Typically, no
Varies
Varies

* Unless otherwise noted, eligibility is only for students seeking their 1st Bachelor's Degree