Pell Grant eligibility is most prominently defined by exceptional financial need of the potential student. There are a number of ways this eligibility is determined including the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This is the most significant application for federal student aid. The information utilized to determine eligibility are-students income, parents income, household size and percentage of family members attending postsecondary establishments (excluding parents).
Other criteria to determine Pell Grant eligibility are parents age, and whether they are employed or not. A particular equation is then used to determine a final EFC (Expected Family Contribution) which will only take into account a certain percentage of the net income only after certain allowances are considered for basic living expenses and taxes.
Assessments will also vary depending on whether the individual is a dependent student, an independent student with dependents or if the individual is an independent student without dependents.
Every year a maximum EFC stipulation is established in conjunction with the Pell Grant program. The current amount for the 2010-2011 school year is set at 5,273 dollars. This amount is the maximum EFC allowed to become eligible for a Pell Grant. The lower the EFC value and the higher the COA (Cost Of Attendance) will put you in a better position to receive a Pell Grant.
Other federal Pell Grant requirements that may be considered include the following:
1) valid social security number
2) US citizen (eligible non-US citizen)
4) working towards a qualified degree
5) demonstrate ability to benefit from enrolling in an postsecondary institution
6) enrolled in a qualified degree oriented program
7) satisfactory academic progress
8) Males between ages 18 and 25 must be enrolled with the Selective Service
9) Must sign a statement stipulating your intent to use the Pell Grant for education related purposes only, have not defaulted on any student loans, and do not owe a refund for any of the federal education grants.
Eligibility can be denied if you have a drug conviction that took place while receiving federal student aid. This can be overturned if the proper remedial steps are taken.