To be eligible for a Pell Grant, a student must show financial need, reports Federal Student Aid. Although most Pell Grant recipients are undergraduates who have not yet received degrees, students in teacher certification programs sometimes receive Pell Grants.
To assess a student's financial need, the U.S. Department of Education uses the financial information the student reports on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, explains the U.S. Department of Education. Important financial considerations include the income and assets of the student, the income and assets of the parents, the size of the family household, and the number of siblings attending college. Dependent students, independent students and students with dependents all have different assessment criteria for Federal Pell Grants.
Once a student obtains a Federal Pell Grant, the amount that the student receives depends on how much the student's family can contribute, the cost of attendance at the specific institution, whether the student goes to school for the full academic year, and whether the student's enrollment is part-time or full-time, notes Federal Student Aid. The federal government distributes the money to the educational institution, and the school either uses the funds for school costs or releases the money to the student.