Pell Grants are federal grants used for attending college. In the state of Georgia, any college that accepts the Federal Student Aid Program will also accept the Pell Grant. But to qualify for the Pell Grant, your EFC (Expected Family Contribution) is taken into consideration, as well as other factors.
FAFSA and EFC
To qualify for your Pell Grant, you must fill out a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form will ask for your personal information, such as your Social Security number and birth date. It will also ask for your parents' income. This helps determine your EFC (Expected Family Contribution), which is vital to your Pell Grant eligibility. The federal government determines your EFC by calculating your family’s income and assets, then takes into account the number of family members and how many students are currently enrolled in college. If your EFC is lower than $3,850, you are considered in financial need and qualify for the Pell Grant.
You only qualify for the Pell Grant if you are an undergraduate student, meaning you do not yet have a bachelor's degree or have not yet completed a professional degree (as is required to become a lawyer or doctor). However, if you are acquiring a teaching certification after the completion your bachelor's degree, you can still qualify for the grant.
There are other requirements for the Pell Grant. You cannot be in jail or prison. You can’t be behind in your payments on student loans or have a Pell overpayment, meaning that you were given the grant then dropped out of your classes. Once you are disqualified, you must pay back the grant money. Though there is no minimum grade point average you have to maintain, you do have to have acceptable grades or risk losing the grant.