Federal Pell Grants
With a few exceptions, Federal Pell Grants are available only to undergraduate students for a maximum lifetime limit of 18 semesters or its equivalent.
A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded usually only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post-baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Pell Grant.) Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added.
The maximum Pell Grant award for the 2008-09 award year (July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009) is $4,731. For the 2009-10 award year (July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010), the maximum award is $5,350. The maximum amount can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount you get, though, will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.
Your school can apply Pell Grant funds to your school costs, pay you directly (usually by check), or combine these methods. The school must tell you in writing how much your award will be and how and when you'll be paid. Schools must disburse funds at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that do not use semesters, trimesters, or quarters must disburse funds at least twice per academic year.
If you are unemployed, click here for FAQs regarding Pell Grant eligibility.
For a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, visit FAFSA