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Pell Grants and Student Loans For College Students

College students come in all shapes, colors, sizes and ages. Whether you are a high school student, a current undergraduate student or a parent dreaming to continue your education, you should not let the lack of money prevent you from getting a college degree. Several financial options exist. Ideally, getting scholarships and grants would be the best option because you do not have to pay the money back. However, student loans have allowed thousands of people to obtain college degrees. Regardless of where the money comes from, remember investing in education will enrich your life.

On of the most popular forms of financial aid is The Federal Pell Grant Program. If your family has a low-income and you are pursuing an undergraduate degree you probably qualify for this grant. In fact, some students who are enrolled in certain graduate programs qualify for Pell grants as well. If you get a Pell Grant, you can use it at one of 5,400 colleges, universities or community colleges.

In order to get a Pell Grant and/or a student loan, you must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This form is often referred to as FAFSA. You can complete the form online. Be prepared to report your family’s income and assets. The number of family members and any family members attending college will also have to be reported. If you are not married and less than 23 years old, in most cases you will have to report your parent’s financial information in addition to any income that you have earned. Make sure to report accurate information. Do not attempt to mislead the federal government. After all, your financial information can be obtained. Not being honest on the form could lead to legal action against you.

Based on the financial information that you provide, a FAFSA processor uses a formula to calculate your Expected Family Contribution. The formula used is a standard formula which was established by Congress. Once calculated, you will receive your Student Aid Report. In addition, your information and your Expected Family Contribution will be automatically sent to all of the colleges and universities that you listed on the FAFSA. Employees in college financial aid offices use the information to determine your eligibility for federal financial aid. Once awarded, your Pell Grant and student loans can be used to pay tuition, fees, and living expenses.

If you are awarded any form of student financial aid from the federal government, your grants or student loans will be credited to your account at the college or university that you attend. Once all school charges have been paid, you will get a refund, if any of the money is left. This refund can be used to pay other student expenses. If you are owed a refund, expect to receive it in installments that coincide with the academic term of that particular college or university. Traditional academic schedules include semesters, trimesters and quarters.

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