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A Federal Pell Grant is a United States-based educational grant that provides funding to college students with demonstrated financial need. Getting a Pell Grant can help reduce the amount of money that a student needs to take out in loans or provide out of personal financing. To fill out a Pell Grant application, a student will need to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). In order to complete a Pell Grant application, a student will need to provide identification information, personal or parental tax, financial, and current income data, and a list of schools or degree programs that need to receive the results of the application.
Filling out a FAFSA will automatically enter a student into consideration for a Pell Grant, as well as for federal student loans and other grant programs. Pell Grant eligibility is determined by examining a student's financial needs, cost of school attendance, and status as a full-time or part time students. As of 2011, students under the age of 24 who have lost a parent or guardian in the Afghanistan or Iraq wars may also be eligible to receive a Pell Grant, though some financial considerations still apply.
The Pell Grant application is divided into seven sections, the first of which requires basic identification information. A student will need to know his or her home address, telephone number, Social Security number, driver's license number, and residency status. The student must also include high school name and location, his or her grade level for the next year, and what degree he or she will be pursuing in the next year.
The Pell Grant application requires that a student provide information on colleges that are to receive the results of the FASFA. Paper forms include four slots for colleges, while the online version of the application allows a student to enter more colleges if he or she has applied to many. Generally, a student may want to include their first four choices of school on the form, in the sixth section of the application.
After providing a signature in the seventh section, students may want to double-check all information for accuracy. Since the FASFA document is the sole indicator of eligibility for the Pell Grant, as well as for many other federal financial aid programs, accuracy and truthfulness are very important. The Pell Grant application is usually filled out once per year, and is sometime during the spring semester. Results may take a few months, though some versions of the application do provide a preliminary estimated result immediately after filing.
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