This article will walk you through some of the special exceptions that might apply to you if you don’t meet all of the basic requirements, also how do you keep your eligibility, and if you lost it what can you do to get your Pell Grant eligibility back.
Here are the main requirements you must meet to be eligible for a Pell Grant, if you want more detail check out our article on Pell Grant requirements:
- High school diploma or GED
- U.S. Citizen
- Valid Income information
- Males must enroll with the selective service
- No Jail time or drug-related offence
- No full scholarship
- You must be working towards some kind of degree
- Your school must participate in the Pell Grant Program (which nearly all do, but check just in case)
- Maintain the minimum academic progress
You’ve met all the basic Pell Grant eligibility requirements, now what? Submit your Pell Grant Application. Now you have your funding for your first year, keep it or lose it.
How to Maintain Eligibility
Once you have your funding you must now keep it, so that you can get it every year if you need it. There are a few key things you must do to maintain your Pell Grant eligibility.
First, fill out the FAFSA for EVERY YEAR, even if it’s just to update it and nothing really changes. Go to the FAFSA website and submit a renewal form.
Secondly, maintain satisfactory academic standing. If you do not do this, you will lose your funding for the next year, look down the page on how to re-gain your eligibility if you do this. Find out what the minimum level is beforehand if you think this might be an issue.
How to Re-gain Your Pell Grant Eligibility
People make mistakes, things happen, life happens sometimes. In most situations in life if something bad happens there is a way to fix it, and your Pell Grant eligibility is no different. There are of course many ways to lose your eligibility but I’m going to go over the most common ones by far and how to fix them.
Did Not Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress
One of the hardest things about post-secondary education is adapting to the increase in workload and difficulty. If you fall under the satisfactory requirements you may be told you aren’t getting any more aid. The first thing you should do is talk to school advisors, you may have grounds to appeal the decision and get back your funding. If that doesn’t work than you will have to work hard to get back up to satisfactory standing and re-apply for FAFSA the following year.
Convicted of Drug-Offence
If you were convicted of a drug related offence you may be able to get back your eligibility by:
- Complete an approved rehabilitation program
- Pass two random drug tests given by the rehab program
If you are able to get your eligibility back early contact your student financial aid office immediately.
There are of course more situations, and if you fall under them you should contact your school’s financial aid advisors for help.