You apply for a Pell Grant. Based on your qualifications and how much funding is available, you might get “free” money for your educational costs. How does that happen?
The Pell Grant program is run by the national Department of Education. As with any governmental agency, money is assigned to the department by legislative budgets. You probably are aware how hard it is to get a budge out of any group, let alone the national Senate and House of Representatives.
In this environment of reduced income, the tax base is smaller, too. This just increases the difficulty in obtaining Pell Grants. When you take this all the way down to the bottom line, Pell Grants come from taxes collected from people who work in the United States. Students who worked before going to college might even see this as a benefit of paying taxes.
The route of from taxpayers to Pell Grants includes potential snags. The earliest date you can apply for a Pell Grant is January 1 of each year. On the other hand when the money is handed to your school is up to the Department of Education. This is one of the places where the actual money may get delayed.
Between national budgets being held up or money not being available to provide to schools, the arrival of funds may be unpredictable. As a result you may have been awarded money by the Pell Grant program but the money may not have reached the school financial aid department when expected.
Funds can also be delayed inside the system of your individual college. Just like a company that’s divided into departments, different areas within the school have different priorities. It’s not uncommon for the federal program to release funds in August when they are available. You may be surprised how long it takes for money go from the receiving department of the school to the area, usually the Bursar’s Office, to move the money into your account.
These delays can be frustrating. Despite the challenges, it’s worth it to manage the process on your own behalf. Have you ever paid taxes to the federal government? Or have your parents paid their taxes every year? Then Pell Grants are just one of the reasons it’s worth it to deal with the process of applying for, managing and receiving financial aid.
The entire financial aid program was created to help people pay for college. Specially, for individuals who might not otherwise be able to go. Education level has a huge impact on quality of life and income levels. Many studies show that for each level of additional education you complete, the potential for your life also goes up. Fortunately, the government recognizes how this also contributes to the entire culture of the United States.
It’s specifically for these reasons that Pell Grants and many other programs were created. With Pell Grant awards ranging from $400 to $5,500 it’s time to download your Free Application for Federal Student Aid form and get started.