Knowing about the appropriate Pell Grant requirements will give you an advantage when it comes time to fill out your FAFSA, as you will know beforehand the things that you are going to need to have in check in order to get the federal Pell Grant. That being said, it is important to know when you should fill out this Pell Grant application, and what you can expect when it comes time to actually submit one.
What Is the FAFSA?
The FAFSA, or free application for student aid, is the universal application for federal student aid that students from around the country must fill out if they want to make themselves eligible for the vast majority of federal student aid that is out there. When you fill out a FAFSA, you are not only making yourself eligible for a Pell Grant, but you are also making yourself eligible for other kinds of federal aid such as federal student loans, and other federal grants.
The key to filling out a FAFSA is to first understand the deadlines that you must abide by in order to gain a valid submission. For most undergraduate students who are planning to attend class during the fall semester the deadline to apply is June 30. There is another deadline that allows you to make corrections, and this usually occurs during September. The earliest you can go ahead and submit the FAFSA is January 1, and it is recommended that you go ahead and do so as early as possible in order to become eligible for the most amount of aid you possibly can.
Completing the Application
Besides applying by the appropriate deadlines, it is also vital that you understand the kind of information you need to provide during your submission. Filling out a FAFSA in a complete fashion is not that difficult, and it really comes down to knowing whether or not you are considered to be a dependent, or independent by the federal government. If you are still considered to be a dependent, then you are going to have to provide your parents financial information along with your personal information. If you’re considered to be an independent, you will only have to provide your personal financial information, and not your parents.
Completing the application shouldn’t take you more than about an hour or two if you are readily prepared beforehand, and by having the appropriate information by your side you can make this process even more efficient. Once you have submitted your FAFSA a Student Aid Report, or SAR will be generated. This report will explicitly reveal the information you provided on your FAFSA, along with other data such as your EFC, and eligibility for the Pell Grant. It is therefore in your best interest to go over this report as soon as you are able to access it in order to make sure that everything you provided is accurate, and to see if you are in-fact eligible for the Pell Grant. The SAR should be sent to you via email within a couple of weeks after you successful submission of the FAFSA.