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Can anyone get a Pell Grant?

No, the Pell Grant is a federal educational grant that the government offers only to those undergraduate students who demonstrate exceptional financial need. The determination of exceptional financial need is based on the income and asset information supplied on the federal government's financial aid application, known as the FAFSA.

The main benefit of a Pell Grant is that it does not have to be repaid. Even if you think your financial situation may make you ineligible for a Pell Grant, you should apply anyway because many institutions will not consider you for other awards until they know your Pell status.

If you are eligible for a Pell Grant, the school can credit the funds to your account, write you a check, or combine these methods. The school is required to notify you in writing how much you will be receiving.

For the academic years 2010/11, 2011/12, and 2012/13 (the academic year runs from July 1st through June 30th), the maximum Pell Grant is $5,550. Beginning with the academic year 2013/14, the Pell Grant will be automatically adjusted each year for inflation.