The Federal Pell Grant Program is the foundation of the federal government’s financial aid programs. A Pell Grant is money the government provides for students to help pay for the cost of their education. It can be used to pay for tuition, fees, and books. Grants, unlike loans, do not have to be repaid. Eligible students receive a specified amount each year under this program. Once the Free Application for Federal Student Aid is submitted, (FAFSA), the Federal government determines Pell Grant eligibility from questions answered on the FAFSA such as the adjusted gross income, taxes paid, assets, and the number of family members in college. These factors among others, help determine the student’s expected family contribution (EFC). The EFC will determine Pell Grant Eligibility. The student is notified of their eligibility via a confirmation page once the FAFSA is submitted and by the Student Aid Report (SAR).
**Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility**
The duration of eligibility for the Federal Pell Grant is 12 full-time semesters. Students who are less than full-time (12 credits), will receive a prorated Pell award for each semester. For further information on Pell Grant Lifetime Eligibility, see Pell Lifetime Eligibility Used (PLEU) under FA Glossary.
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant
The Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) is an additional financial aid program that can be used to help pay for the cost of education. (SEOG) funds are reserved for undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need, as determined by the college based on federal guidelines. Priority for these awards is given to Pell grant recipients taking 6 or more credits. Awards are given until funds are exhausted.
Both Pell and SEOG are need-based program. Besides EFC and Pell Lifetime Eligibility, applicants need to meet other need-based program requirements: Verification (if selected) is completed, meet Satisfactory Academic Progress, and any other issues that need to be resolved as determined by the school and/or the Department of Education.