Pell Grant Program Highlights

The Pell Grant program began as the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant (BEOG). It is named in honor of it's legislative founder, Senator Clairborne Pell.

This former cornerstone of federal student aid was once generously funded. The program continues to target low income families by giving them more opportunity to afford a college education.

The program features free government money is federally funded and administered through the colleges. Many states mirror the program and offer their own school grants. The awards are free money for college that you do not have to pay back.

If your family income is lower and you feel you can demonstrate a significant financial need, than the Pell Grant may be right for you.

Pell Grant - cash

How Much is the Maximum Award?

The current maximum annual amount is $5,500. However, most students who do receive aid receive less than this since it is formula driven.

Know The Formula Steps

Interested applicants are advised to know the basic formula and terminology.

  1. Completed FAFSA triggers a single calculated number, EFC - expected family contribution.
  2. You will then receive back a SAR - Student Aid Report. On this report it will indicate your eligibility for the program.
  3. Because this is a strict formula the yes/no response you receive back is all based on this net EFC cut-off score. Currently this threshold number is an EFC of $4,617.
Be sure to visit the FAFSA page to better understand the variables that influence this calculation.

Pell Grant - compass

Finding More Sources for Free Money

While the intent of this popular program is honorable the fact is the cost of college simply dwarfs the amount of the grant even at the maximum level. This still leaves students without any real viable options.

To find out why the formula approach doesn't work for most families and what you can do to find more attractive sources of free money for college visit my free webinar. You will learn where more attractive sources of free money for college can be found. You will learn how to especially avoid burdensome student loans.

Recommended References

To learn more about this federal student aid program please visit:

Pell Grant government link
Pell commercial link


Go to Financial Aid (insert new link)
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What Clients Are Saying



“…without your involvement, we never would have thought to approach the college directly…. We got the documentation together to obtain residency, created letters to send and were granted residency which translated to $20,000 in savings.

THEN we went back and said, 'don’t take away her out-of-state scholarship just because she is now a resident' and got OSU to maintain the $7,000 scholarship".

"We would like to express our appreciation for the service that our daughter received.

She is our first child to go through the college application process, and it was very intimidating for our whole family. You were able to create a clear, understandable path for our daughter.

As a result of all of this hard work, our daughter was offered three presidential scholarships at various colleges, including a full tuition scholarship to a private college.

Thanks again, and we look forward to working with you on our son's upcoming college search."

"HWS presented an above average financial aid award, however, it included some work study. With your guidance, I went back and asked that the work study be converted to either grant or scholarship to relieve the financial burden while allowing my daughter to focus on academics.

They came back with the conversion AND continued to keep her eligible for an equal amount of money through work study."