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How do you qualify for a Pell Grant?

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Quick Answer

Current or future college students interested in applying for a Pell Grant must meet the eligibility criteria for receiving federal student aid. Eligibility involves meeting certain personal, educational and financial requirements.

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Full Answer

Federal Pell Grants are available to undergraduate students to help them pay for their college education. To receive a Pell Grant, a student must have a high school diploma, a General Educational Development certificate or have completed high school via a homeschooling setting approved by state law. In addition, the student must be accepted to or enrolled in a degree or certificate program and maintain satisfactory academic progress once attending classes.

Students must also have a valid social security number in order to apply for a Pell Grant. Male students must have registered with Selective Service. Furthermore, students need to be U.S. citizens or naturals, or they must have a green card, an arrival-departure schedule, a battered immigrant status or a T-visa.

Students must fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, including the sections stating that they are not in default on a federal loan, do not owe a refund on a federal grant and will only use any aid received for educational purposes.

Students who are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution are not eligible for a Pell Grant. Neither are individuals who are subject to an involuntary civil commitment after serving a sentence for a forcible or non-forcible sexual offense.

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