Getting the Maximum Pell Grant Amount

Written by Michael Bennet

After you have determined your federal Pell Grant eligibility status, you will probably then want to know just how much money you can receive via a Pell Grant.

You can figure this out before you apply, but you still won’t know for sure until you hear a response back from your college after you send in your FAFSA, the only real Pell Grant application in existence. The amount you can receive for any particular award year will depend on several formulas that are utilized by your school’s financial aid department.

Determining Your Pell Grant Amount

The formula that your school’s financial aid department will utilize to determine what amount of Pell Grant aid you will be able to receive for any particular award year will depend on a number of factors. These will include your EFC, cost of attendance, enrollment status, and whether or not you plan on attending classes for a full academic year.

Students with lower EFC values, and higher costs of attendance will qualify for higher award amounts. The amount of Pell Grant aid you qualify for will then be fractionally prorated in regard to your enrollment status if you are going to school on less than a full-time basis. It won’t be affected if you maintain full-time status.

Schools must now distribute the full amounts that their students are able to qualify for, and no longer can a school lower a student’s award due to lack of funds.

Specific Amounts for 2013-2014

The actual Pell Grant amounts for the 2013-2014 school year have changed once again, and the following listing contains both the maximum, and minimum award amounts for all four enrollment statuses.

Maximum Amounts: (USD)

  • Full-Time: 5,645 dollars
  • Three-Quarter-Time: 4,234 dollars
  • Half-Time: 2,823 dollars
  • Quarter-Time: 1,411 dollars

Minimum Amounts: (USD)

  • Full-Time: 582 dollars
  • Three-Quarter-Time: 563 dollars
  • Half-Time: 575 dollars
  • Quarter-Time: 563 dollars

Remember that most students don’t receive the full amount, and on average most students receive about 3,770 dollars of Pell Grant aid once they become eligible.

The best thing you can do to get a higher amount is to have a lower EFC, as EFC values that are at, or close to zero are almost guaranteed to get the full amount, or at least close to it.