How Can I Determine My Pell Grant Status?

Written by Michael Bennet

To determine your Pell Grant status you must first have already completed the FAFSA, as this is the universal application for federal student aid that that will also make you eligible for a Pell Grant.

Once you have filled out the FAFSA, a Student Aid Report, or SAR, should have been generated and sent to you. Within this SAR should have been your EFC, Pell Grant eligibility status, and status in regard to other kinds of federal student aid.

SAR: The Student Aid Report

You SAR should therefore state your Pell Grant status in terms of your ability to qualify, and it may even give you an estimated award amount that you may be able to receive.

This award amount will only be an estimate, and it is your school’s financial aid department that will make the final determination of the amount of Pell Grant aid you will be able to secure for that particular award year.

If your SAR states that you are eligible to receive a Pell Grant for “up to” such and such an award amount, you should treat this statement as being accurate, and you should be able to get at least some Pell Grant aid for the upcoming school year. You may not receive the full amount that was revealed within your SAR, as this was only a estimate, and your final award amount may be higher, or lower than this figure.

Final Pell Grant Status

Your final Pell Grant status will depend on your college’s financial aid office, as they will take the information you provided on your FAFSA in order to calculate the final amount you are able to receive. They will use predefined formulas that are provided by the government to accomplish this, and these equations will pay closest attention to these factors—EFC, cost of attendance, enrollment status, and plans to attend college for a full year.

Your final award amount will then be sent to you via an award letter from your college at some point after your completion of the FAFSA—this typically takes only a few months, but it may take longer, or shorter depending on when you completed your FAFSA.