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Federal Pell Grants are grants issued to college undergrads to help them pay for college. The amount of money you qualify for is based on the results from filling out a FAFSA form, that determines your families' ability to pay for your education vs what is needed to attend any given school that you get into.
The great thing about pell grants is that you do not have to pay the money back. So they are not loans, but essentially stipends to help people pay for whatever one needs to get into college, funded by tax dollars and issued by the federal government. And the money doesn't have to be paid toward any one particular set of expenses either. So you can take whatever pell grant monies issued and spend it on books, tuition, car payments, clothes, furniture, groceries.. really whatever you want.
Pell Grant awarding goes up to approx. $5700 a year, based on need. The reason for this post is to hopefully make some high school kids (or parents of high schoolers looking to get their kids into college) aware that there are 2 different kinds of college admittance viewpoints: need blind vs need sensitive. The reason I am pointing this out is that I was a college student that luckily was awarded in full my pell grants, and that helped tremendously. But they certainly did not cover the full expense of tuition, of living expenses. Not by a long shot.
In reality, most students will use a combination of tools to help bridge the gap of what their family can pay vs what the school will package issue to help them pay for the total cost of going to their school. Those would be federal pell grants, various students loans, and various scholarships. Be aware though that once you fill out a FAFSA, knowing that you will need financial aid, that's where the distinction of 'blind' vs 'sensitive' comes into play. And it's a distinction I wish I would have been aware of when I was applying, almost a good decade ago now.
As this is already long enough, if interested, I'll end with a link that breaks down in full the difference. It certainly makes sense to me now why some schools admitted me, and others did not. Or at the very least, it's a decision variable that I had NO idea was on the table, until just recently. Here you go:
Need Aware vs. Need Blind Colleges
I would use this info as just another tool to help you chose what school well best help you tackle the enormous financial burden that a college degree warrants.