Is a Pell grant considered federal student aid?

Pell grants are financial aid offers, important for students with a great need for finance, to get access to education. It is financial assistance granted to students based on their needs. Could Pell grant be considered federal student aid?

Yes, Pell Grants are considered to be forms of federal student aid. Federal financial aid is the largest in the US, providing financial help to thousands of students each year.

Is a Pell grant considered federal student aid?

Pell Grants

Pell Grants do not require payment, but student loans have to be paid back. A student looking to get a grant would have to fill out the FAFSA form and be eligible before they can be awarded the grant. You would be considered ineligible if your family makes too much money. 

The grant is purely for students whose families cannot afford to put the student through college. 

Below are some things the non-profit organization or federal government would consider in a student before giving out a grant.

  • EFC.
  • Bachelor’s degree.
  • High school diploma.
  • Social security number.


EFC stands for expected family contribution. When being considered for a Pell Grant, your EFC is calculated to see how well you need the money. An EFC below five thousand dollars would make you eligible for the grant.

Bachelor’s Degree

Pell grants are not accessible to students who have a bachelor’s degree. It is given to those who are working towards a bachelor’s or students with associate degrees or any degree below the baccalaureate level. A student who has a post-baccalaureate degree in a teaching program may be considered.

High School Diploma

Your high school diploma is necessary for your eligibility for a Pell grant. Also, a GED or certificate from a homeschool makes you eligible as well.

Social Security Number

Social security number is needed just to show you’re a citizen of the United States or that you are an eligible non-citizen.

If you want a Pell grant, make sure you have everything checked and go ahead, after all, it’s free money!

Paying Back the Grant

Although the Pell grant is free money, giving false information or trying sketchy tactics would lead to you paying back the money. Situations that can lead you to pay back your grant are listed below.

  1. Dropping out of school after receiving your grant.
  2. Changing your status from a full-time student to half-time. 
  3. Receiving a scholarship or grant from elsewhere which makes your need for financial aid low.

You will be notified of what is to be paid, you will either be required to pay the amount in full or part-payments. If you have successfully been given a grant, all you need to do to keep enjoying the benefits is to stay in school and have good enough grades.

How different is a scholarship from a grant?

People often confuse a scholarship for a grant. For a Pell Grant, you do need good grades, but in a different situation, grants don’t always require merit.

That is, scholarships are not awarded to just anyone, but exceptional students with excellent grades. A grant is meant for students who are in great need of money for their education. 

The grant is calculated by the difference between the college’s cost of attendance, (COA) and the expected family contribution (EFC.)

A scholarship is just a gift from non-profit organizations or the federal government to students for intelligent students. Scholarships are granted to students who possess exceptional talents and skills.

Scholarships are taxable as well as grants when it exceeds the amount needed for fees, textbooks, and other expenses.

Types of Federal College Grants

  1. The Federal Supplementary Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG.) This is awarded by SFA to undergraduates and has similar characteristics to the Pell Grant.
  1. The National Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART.) This grant is awarded to students in their junior and senior years of school who study maths and science and any related courses.
  1. Academic Competitiveness Grant.

This was a grant given to undergraduates, to support them for the first two years of school.

  1. Federal Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. This is offered to students whose parents died in Iraq and Afghanistan during military service. You may have enough money for college and therefore be ineligible for other grants but this grant doesn’t require your EFC.
  1. Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant).

This grant is available for students who are enrolled in the program, it is also required that their school of choice takes part in the TEACH Grant Program.

Before a student can receive a TEACH Grant, they will go through the teach grant counseling, then they’ll sign an agreement. The grant is different from others as the student would be required to complete a teaching service, if not completed, the grant would be converted into a loan which would be paid back.


Asides from the Pell Grant, there are many other federal aids where students in the US in need can easily get funds for their education. A grant is a gift and a generous one at that, if you’re able to get one, you should focus entirely on your studies and keeping good grades.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Will I receive my Pell Grant after repeating a course?

You will receive the funds from your grant even when you fail any of your courses, also, if you passed the course and you are retaking it.

  1. How much will I receive from my Pell Grant?

The amount you would receive depends on the year and college’s tuition fee, also your EFC. The grant would be calculated to cover all these expenses.

  1. Do I have to reapply for financial aid yearly?

Yes, it is necessary to renew your financial aid each year. Your financial aid may change depending on you or your family’s income. Renewal of your financial aid also depends upon your academic grades and how well you’re doing in school.

  1. How long does it take to get a response after sending my grant application?

After submitting your application, it could take about three to six months to get back a response. Although this period varies according to different types of grant programs.

  1. What is the student aid report?

The student aid report is a document that provides information concerning the eligibility of students for federal aid.