Applying for a Pell grant is not a simple process in terms of the paperwork required, but there is really only one step that you will need to complete in order to submit your application. A Pell grant is a type of federal student financial aid that you do not need to pay back, which means that the competition is stiff and the requirements are based on financial need. The good news is that the form that you need to fill out in order to apply for a Pell grant will also tender your application for various other types of federal and institutional aid, including loans, grants, work-study and scholarship programs. Learn from experts about how to fill out a Pell grant application and be on your way towards applying for the aid you need to afford higher education.
The FAFSA form, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, is the sole form that you need to fill out in order to apply for a Pell grant application. The FAFSA form and the Pell grant application form are thus synonymous. The FAFSA form is a notoriously difficult form to fill out, as well as being lengthy, and as a student applicant, you will need to ask your parents or guardians to assist you with completing the financial information on the form. To get started, you will need to visit the FAFSA website and create a PIN, or Personal Identification Number, with the online system. From here, you can either download and print out a written copy of the FAFSA form to complete by hand and send in, or you can complete the FAFSA form online and submit it electronically. If time is of the essence, it is quicker and safer to use the online application form to be sure your form arrives on time and safely.
The FAFSA form is every bit as complicated as an annual tax form, and will ask for detailed information about your finances and your family's finances in order to assess financial need to award a Pell grant. It is therefore extremely important to be both accurate and thorough when filling in each section of the FAFSA form. Even one blank space or one section of inaccurate data can render your application invalid and you ineligible for grants. You will want to be sure to fill out your FAFSA form as soon as possible after the applications window opens and have the FAFSA results also sent to all of the institutions you are applying for so that they can evaluate disbursement of federal and state aid at their institution. For best results, submit your FAFSA before the end of January, or at the very latest by the end of March. Also keep in mind that even if you are not awarded Pell grant funds for that school year, you can reapply, and you can also use the FAFSA form to apply for other types of federal, state, and private student aid.