Applying for the Pell Grant is a great way to ease the financial burden that going back to school as an adult can cause. In fact, it’s one of the best federal student aid programs available to adult learners. My College Guide gives you five reasons why!
Applying for The Pell Grant
Pell Grants are open to almost anybody. The only requirements? You have to have either a GED or a high school diploma, and be working on your first bachelor’s degree. That’s it. There are a few instances where they can be used for post-baccalaureate teaching programs, but those are few and far between.
Applying for the Pell Grant is easy. In fact, you’ll automatically be considered when you fill out your Free Application For Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. Pell Grants eligibility is based solely on economic need, so there are no essays to complete or hoops to jump through. And as a working adult? The easier it is to get something done, the better.
Convenient and Quick
Applying for the Pell Grant gives you flexibility. No matter whether you plan to attend school part-time or full-time, online or on campus, a Pell Grant could work for you. They’re accepted at most online colleges as well as their traditional counterparts, for both part and full-time students. In fact, as a part-time student, you can qualify for up to 18 semesters—so you can get your degree at your own pace.
Free Money for College
The amount of your Pell Grant is not set in stone. Pell Grants are calculated based on four factors—the amount of tuition, your family’s financial status, the size of your family and your enrollment status. So if your situation changes, the amount of your grant can too. Having a baby? Your award could increase. Transferring to a pricier college? You could get more help. Thinking about taking the plunge and going full-time? You guessed it—you could get a bigger grant!
Pell Grants range in size from $550 to $5500, with the average student receiving somewhere around $3500. And since they’re recalculated every school year, they can keep pace with the changes in your life. For adults going back to school, that’s really good news.
Best of all, you don’t have to pay Pell Grants back. Unlike student loans, money from federal Pell Grants is yours, free and clear. Meaning you can concentrate on your schooling—not on how you’ll make good on the loan.
It’s easy to see that for adult learners, applying for the Pell Grant just makes sense. But you better get cracking—the application deadline for the 2011-2012 school year is June 30th.
Image Courtesy of Flickr, espensorvik.