Why You Have to Claim Certain Aid to Receive It

August 14, 2012

It's not often recognized that in order to receive some financial aid money you have to "accept" the aid first. While it may seem simple, in some colleges, it's not always clear how to go about claiming financial aid after you've been awarded. You should receive instructions to claim your Pell Grant and other scholarships within the financial aid award package, mailed to students who complete a FAFSA or apply for financial aid through their universities. The financial aid award letters detail how much you received and any actions that you have to take in order to keep this award. One of those actions should be to claim or accept your financial aid awards.

Where's Your Award

You have to make sure that you were awarded financial aid in the first place. You should have received a financial aid award letter detailing how much you were awarded from Pell Grant, scholarships, loans and fellowships. If you never received an award package, you need to check with your school's financial aid office to see if you received aid. If your school has an online system, you can check your account to see the changes made to your financial aid and also to see what awards you were given.

How to Claim the Award

At most schools, there is an online system in which you can view your account, see the award amount and choose "accept" or "reject" on an award. You can reduce the award if you are trying to claim more on your taxes, or if you just don't require as much aid as you originally applied. In some cases, you want to reduce the amount to eliminate some debt, such as with student loans, which could be offering the biggest amount for the semester, but you don't need to borrow as much. You can always go back and request more aid at a later date in the semester as long as you haven't reached the financial aid cap.

Reporting Aid for Taxes

In addition, if you are using financial aid towards anything other than school expenses, you must add that to your taxable income on your taxes. Financial aid is supposed to be used towards your tuition, school supplies, books and other school expenses. The rest can be included as taxable income that you need to pay for. In general, grants and scholarships are tax free if used for these qualified education expenses.

blog comments powered by Disqus

EducationGrants for school

Whether you’re on your way to school for the first time or thinking about finishing up a degree you should explore your options when it comes to obtaining Grants for School.

Use our FREE Custom Search Tool & see what you qualify for:

Latest Posts

Education Grants for Private School

Dec 14, 2012

Students showing remarkable talents can also get a grant for a private school, including one for younger students in middle school or high school.

Education Grants for Online Schools

Dec 13, 2012

Nowadays, more and more students are turning to online education, both for convenience and the ability to get through your coursework quickly.