Can I Get a Pell Grant for Graduate School?

Written by Michael Bennet

Getting a Pell Grant for graduate school is possible, although more difficult when compared to applying as an undergraduate student.

This is because the Pell Grant was designed to benefit mostly undergraduate students, and was not created for graduate students to gain eligibility. Students that already have a bachelor’s degree are typically denied the ability to qualify, although there are two important exceptions to this rule.

Two Main Exceptions

Students who are enrolled in certain types of graduate programs that may lead to licensure or certification can become eligible for the Pell Grant, so the key here if you already have your undergraduate degree and are enrolled in a graduate program is to determine whether or not it falls into this category.

The important questions to ask yourself include the following:

  • Will my degree allow me to get a professional license?
  • Will my degree allow me to get my teacher certification?

Getting a degree in pharmacy or dentistry would be a good example of what would be considered a graduate program that would lead to licensure, while getting a Master’s degree for anything in the liberal arts field would be an example of a curriculum that wouldn’t be appropriate to gain eligibility for the Pell Grant program.

Students who are enrolled in a curriculum that leads to teacher certification will always be able to qualify for the Pell Grant as well. While Pell Grants for graduate school aren’t the most prevalent way this award is utilized, it is possible to do so if the graduate program you are enrolled in can satisfy either of the aforementioned two requirements. Contact your school’s financial aid department to determine whether or not your particular degree program may allow for you to become eligible.