Tips for Checking Pell Grant Award Amount

August 6, 2012

If you are receiving a Pell Grant for next semester, then you already have received a financial aid award letter. However, sometimes these amounts fluctuate, depending on a variety of things. In addition, you have to accept awards within a matter of time so that the government and college know that you will be accepting the aid and paying for tuition from that aid. The Pell Grant is a need-based grant, so you must demonstrate extreme financial need and also meet the expected family contribution requirements in order to receive any federal aid through this program. If you are eligible, you should receive a letter from your college within six weeks of submitting a FAFSA online.

Talk to Your Financial Aid Office

The biggest step is keeping in communication with your college. If you think something is strange about your aid or you never received anything from Pell Grant, then that's a major problem. However, your Pell Grant first goes to pay off your tuition, so understand that if you didn't receive a check or direct deposit from your school, it may because it only covered your tuition. Your financial aid advisor will be able to give you more details and go over your financial aid package. There also may be extra money that you can take advantage of if you didn't accept at first with your original financial aid offer, such as federal work study programs or student loan options. Financial aid officers will be able to tell if you have leftover money based on your expected family contribution number and expected school costs.

Check Online

You can check the status of your FAFSA by going to In some cases, you may need to send verification documents to show that you are experiencing financial need, or something may have been missing on your application. In addition, your school may also have an online financial aid center that you can check to see your entire financial aid award, pending awards and issues that are causing a problem, such as academic probation.

Other Things to Consider

If you lose your original financial aid award letter, you can always ask your school's financial aid office for a duplicate copy. They should have this documentation on file. If you want to appeal a financial aid award amount or you were rejected for financial aid, you can always write to your school's financial aid office and appeal the rejection. Schools have different procedures for conducting this process, so you may need a specific form in order to appeal.

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