Qualifications: Undergraduate students only
Annual Amount: Up to $5,730 (2014-15 award year)
Deadlines & Application: Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
Description: Pell Grants are given to both in-state and out-of-state undergraduates with financial need. To qualify, you must also have a high school diploma or GED certificate and be enrolled as a student at the university in a degree-seeking program. Check for other specific qualifications in The Student Guide, Financial Aid, from the U.S. Department of Education. The Financial Aid Office has copies, or you can find it also online.
To be considered for a Pell Grant, as well as other federal financial aid, you must submit the FAFSA. Your eligibility is determined by your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). Early registration and enrollment will help the Financial Aid Office determine what your expected Pell Grant award will be. You will be notified of the amount when you receive your financial aid package, usually in June.
Federal Pell Grants do not have to be paid back. Students with the greatest need receive Pell Grants. The maximum amount depends on what the Department of Education authorizes for the year, the cost of tuition and fees and other expenses at Highlands and the number of hours you take (grants are prorated based on enrollment status, i.e. less than full-time enrollment is adjusted downward; three-quarter time will receive 75%, half-time – 50%, etc.). Recently (2014-15 AY), the annual maximum amount has been increased to $5,730 for full-time students (12 or more hours) enrolled for both semesters. To continue to receive Pell Grant, recipients must demonstrate satisfactory academic performance (SAP), with a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 1.75 for freshmen and 2.0 for sophomores, juniors, and seniors. There is also other criteria that is taken into account and it is best check with your financial aid adviser to see if you meet the remaining eligibilities.
Your Pell Grant is part of your financial aid package. In the third week of the semester, the grant amount is applied to what you owe in your student account in the Business Office.