There’s no mystery to the Pell grant application. I’ll keep this short and sweet. You probably already filled out your application and just don’t realize it.
The application is part of the FAFSA process.
When you submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (also called the FAFSA), you apply for several programs all at once.
To apply, just go here: Pell grant application
Here are some of the other programs you'll apply for:
You will also find out your eligibility for several federal scholarships, and a few other programs, like work-study programs at the federal level.
See? Sometimes paperwork is useful.
Your state likely also uses the FAFSA to evaluate your eligibility for their programs - many states use it. Several states, like New York, California, Texas and many others, have in-state programs to help students with tuition.
When you submit the FAFSA, you are being evaluated for those programs as well. Your college or university also uses the FAFSA to determine your eligibility for many of their in-house programs as well, such as grants or an in-state work-study program.
After filling out the FAFSA online and submitting it, you will have to wait a short period of time, 3-10 days usually.
You will get a pin to log in and check your results. You will see a report there called your Student Aid Report, sometimes called a SAR. This report will tell you what federal programs you are eligible for, and takes about a week if you do it electronically. It takes up to 2 weeks if on paper.
The Student Aid Report, as your Pell Grant application, will tell you if you qualify for a grant. Typically, this money will go directly to your college or university to cover part of your tuition, and it will come in 2 pieces:
Half in the Fall semester
Half in the Winter/Spring semester
If your school uses quarters, then it will divided in 3 pieces, one third for each quarter. The checks should arrive directly to the school financial aid department, and you won’t have to do much more to receive it. Maybe sign an acknowledgement.
Then the money just arrives, until next year, and you have to fill out the FAFSA again. It’s just a form.
Fill out the FAFSA, and see if you qualify.
You can contact your school’s financial aid office for the school’s aid offers, and the state offers as well, usually.
After you get your report and any local offers, you may have to fill out a few more sheets for loans.
Yes, the FAFSA is a long-ish form, but that’s just the small price you pay (your time to fill it out) in order to get the benefit.
Take a few minutes and fill it out. If you are 24 and haven’t got a good job, and you want to finish, you probably will qualify for something.