Financial aid is awarded based on many factors — including the cost of attendance and household income.
While there are billions of dollars every year in financial aid that go unclaimed, there are limitations as to how many times you can apply for it.
Federal Pell Grant
The Federal Pell Grant is financial aid that is awarded based on financial need and is not money that has to be paid back. The current maximum award amount is $6,345, and you cannot receive it from more than one school at a time.
Students can receive this award for up to 12 terms or six years. Once you have earned your baccalaureate, first professional degree, or used all 12 terms of eligibility, you will no longer be eligible to apply for a Pell grant.
How often can you apply?
Filing your FAFSA® is required to receive any financial aid. You will need to do this once every year to plan to receive any form of financial assistance towards your education. You will only need to complete this once, but if you have any changes during your filing process, you can go into your application and make the necessary updates. If at any point during your time at school, you do not file a FAFSA, you will not receive any financial aid award.
How is that financial aid award determined?
Financial aid awards and grants will vary from school to school. The first step every student should take to maximize their aid awards is to file their FAFSA® as soon as possible each year. The earlier you get in your application, the better the chances are for receiving the maximum possible award.
While a substantial amount of aid is awarded based on need, many schools also offer assistance on a first-come-first-served basis.
Make sure to complete your FAFSA® each year you plan to attend college to get financial aid.