The Federal Pell Grant is available for independent or dependent students who demonstrate a college financial aid need when attending an approved college or university. This grant consists of both federal and non-federal funds, distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to students who meet the current income eligibility. In addition to the Pell Grant, other financial aid programs are available for students such as grants, loans or employer reimbursement in the form of tuition assistance. A student is still eligible to receive a Pell Grant when receiving additional tuition assistance from an outside source.
A Pell Grant recipient may be eligible to receive additional tuition assistance in the form of grants through the college the student attends or the state in which he lives. The college or university will receive the Pell Grant and the secondary grant money to cover the tuition costs, supplies and other applicable fees that are added to the student's account at the beginning of the semester. If the student receives both the Pell Grant and the additional grant, the school will first apply the amount of the secondary grant to the student’s account before applying the Pell Grant to settle the balance. If the student is eligible to receive the full Pell Grant amount, he may receive a refund for the remainder of the grant after his account is paid.
Students may receive student loan tuition assistance if the entire amount of the Pell Grant will not cover tuition, books, supplies and other applicable fees. Before applying for a student loan, a student must fill out the The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to determine whether she can receive the federal Pell Grant. Once this is determined, a student may apply to receive a student loan. The school will apply the amount of the Pell Grant to the student’s account before the loan covers any remaining balance. If no balance remains and the terms of the student loan allow, the student will receive the remainder of the loan in a check or deposit for other expenses.
Some employers reimburse employees for attending school as long as the degree or classes relate to the employee's current position. Under these terms, the employee is responsible for paying tuition, supplies and other applicable costs out of pocket and providing the employer with receipts. An employee may utilize a Pell Grant to offset the amount she will pay out of pocket. Only the amount the employee pays out-of-pocket is reimbursable by her employer. The school will apply the Pell Grant to the student's balance and the student is then responsible for the remainder until she receives reimbursement from her employer.
Pell Grant Plus Outside Scholarships
Scholarships and financial assistance can cover up to 100 percent of tuition, books and supplies. In some cases, scholarships or military assistance may also cover housing and other applicable expenses. If the scholarship exceeds the financial need demonstrated by the individual in order to attend school, the student is not eligible to receive the Pell Grant in addition to the tuition assistance. If it does not, the school will apply the scholarship or military assistance before applying the Pell Grant to cover the remainder of the balance.
Active Duty Military Pell Grant
Some branches of the military provide tuition assistance for active members, veterans and family members. The GI Bill provides a predetermined amount of assistance to cover the cost of tuition, supplies and applicable costs towards pursing a degree. Depending on your military branch, length of service and other factors, members and family may be eligible for different levels of benefits, known as “chapters" that include Pell Grants for military veterans and active duty military pell grant monies. Some chapters of the GI Bill, such as the Chapter 35 Survivors & Dependents Assistance (DEA), pay both Pell Grant and non-Pell Grant recipients a monthly stipend to cover the cost of tuition and applicable expenses. If the recipient also receives a Pell Grant, he may use this stipend to pay the remainder of his account balance, and for other expenses such as housing.