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.
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.