Tag Archives: pell grants

Pell Grants Ease The Costs of College

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The murky waters of financial aid for college can be daunting waters to tread. There are so many options and so many hoops to jump through that it can be intimidating. Pell grants are one of those options, but what are they and how do they work?

What Is a Pell Grant?

A Pell grant is a form of financial aid provided by the federal government, usually to low income students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s or professional degree. In some cases, awards might be made to post-baccalaureate students pursuing advanced degrees in specific fields. Pell grants are not loans and do not have to be repaid at all. Other forms of financial aid can be combined with Pell grants to ease the cost of college tuition.

How Much Money Is Available?

The amount of money available to any individual student students but the maximum anyone can receive is $5,550. Some of the criteria used to determine the final amount are your status as either a full-time or part-time student, your financial need, the costs you have to pay to attend college, and whether or not you plan to attend school for a full year or not. Additionally, the full amount is guaranteed to any student who lost a parent in due to military service in Iraq or Afghanistan after Sept.11, 2001. To qualify for this military service condition, you must be under 24 years of age or enrolled in college on at least a part-time basis at the time of the parent or guardian’s death.

Currently, the award of two consecutive Pell grants may be made in a single year to speed up your degree process. You need to be enrolled a minimum of half-time in a program that results in either an associate or a bachelor’s degree.

How Do You Apply?

To apply for a Pell grant you will need to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will identify the college you are attending and all of your financial information in this application. The application is evaluated by the U.S. Department of Education. When the evaluation is completed, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR). The SAR indicates whether or not you are eligible for a Pell Grant and other requirement such as your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) toward your education costs, if you are still considered dependent on your parents.

The current administration’s budget concerns are causing the Pell grant system to be evaluated for upcoming years. The parameters as outlined here are valid throughout June 2012.

Financial Aid Grant Information : Where to Fill Out a Federal Pell Grant

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Here is a straightforward account of where to find the FAFSA, and what filling it out can mean for you in terms of whether you qualify for grants or loans. Also, learn what you’ll need to complete the application, like tax documents or other documents.

Going Back to School as a Single Mother

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As a single mom, you constantly battle financial problems. You are the only breadwinner in your home, yet you are also the only parent. As such, you must dedicate yourself to your career and your children at the same time. Sometimes advancing within your field of work is difficult because your children are constantly in need of your attention. One way to take the next step at your place of employment is to get another degree or finish the one you started. If you are thinking about going back to school, the financial reality may be stopping you. If so, here are some resources you should know about to help you pay for your education.

The first place you should look for financial help is the government. Talk to the financial aid department at the school you are considering, and they will help you find the necessary forms to apply for federal aid programs. You will have to file the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) as part of this process. If your income qualifies, you will be eligible for help such as Pell Grants, Cal Grants, and special student loan offers with lower than normal interest rates. You may or may not qualify for help, but you should go through the process to determine if you do or not.

If you do not qualify for federal aid or you do not get enough aid to cover what you need to go back to school, there are many privately funded organizations that will help single moms fund their education. Raise the Nation is one of these organizations. This company has a scholarship for single moms who wish to pursue further education but cannot get the money they need through traditional loan sources and school grants.

The Sunshine Lady Foundation Scholarship Program is another option for some single moms. The Foundation offers the Women’s Independence Scholarship Program, which is available to women who have escaped from abusive relationships and need to get an education in order to become financially stable by landing a good job. Women with young children in the home are the focus of this scholarship.

If neither of these options work for you and you still need more money for your education, consider using an online tool to search for grants, loans, and scholarships that match your life. For instance, sometimes minority women can get scholarships from their minority organizations. FastWeb.com is a website that offers an online search tool for scholarships, loans, grants, and other forms of financial aid.

If you want to go back to school and the fact that you are a single mom is holding you back, there are options. You need to do your research and find out what help you can get. Remember, getting your degree will only make life better for you and your children so stop waiting and start working towards further education.