Completing the Official Application Form for the Pell Grant
The official Pell Grant form is the FAFSA, and it must be submitted by June 30 in order to gain eligibility.
- The earliest the FAFSA can be submitted is January 1, and I strongly suggest that you all send in your application as soon as possible after the New Year in order to increase your chances at being allotted the maximum amount of federal student aid as possible.
Federal student aid programs such as the Pell Grant are allocated to students on a first-come, first-serve basis due to a limited amount of funding, and while it is still possible to get the Pell Grant and other types of federal aid by waiting to the last minute, it is not a prudent move in my opinion.
Filling out the various Pell Grant forms is not that difficult, and if you prepare yourself beforehand you can easily accomplish this task in under a couple of hours.
Here are some key pointers that you should consider when completing the FAFSA:
- Complete your application online if at all possible. It is much quicker and more efficient when compared to sending in the written form.
- Gather all of your financial records and documentation together before you begin the application.
- Although it is never a smart move to leave a question blank, don’t hesitate to come back and edit your application later on if you are unsure about something.
- Make sure to check your Student Aid Report (SAR) after you have successfully submitted your application.
- Contact your university’s financial aid department if you observe any discrepancies with your SAR, as they will be able to assist you on a more personal level.
Ultimately submitting this Pell Grant form will allow you to become eligible for a wide variety of federal student aid, so please be careful when completing the actual application. It is also never a bad idea to return to review and perhaps edit your application a few days after you have submitted it, as this is extremely easy to do if you completed the online form. Remember that you should be waiting on a response from your college at some point after you have submitted the FAFSA.
Your college will send you an award letter that will detail all of the federal student aid that you were allotted for the upcoming school year, and it will then be up to you to get back to them via an acceptance letter that should communicate exactly what aid you plan to keep, and what aid you may want to reject. Most students accept the majority of their federal student aid, and it is very rare that a student will ever reject their Pell Grant aid. The most common situation that may warrant this is when the student receives a scholarship of some kind.