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Pell Grants

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Pell Grants

Ater I have completed the FAFSA, what is the next step?

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Upon completion of the FAFSA, you will receive a Student Aid Report (SAR) from the Department of Education, which will inform you of your Expected Family Contribution (EFC) and indicate whether you are eligible to receive a Pell Grant.   Our office will also receive an electronic version of the SAR from the Department of Education.

We encourage you to carefully read your SAR and follow through with any outstanding items as indicated.  Our office will also notify you (through your ORU e-mail account) of any additional items which may be needed to complete your aid application.

You may also track the progress of your aid application on VISION. As your application is completed, you will be notified of your offer of financial assistance.

What is an Expected Family Contribution (EFC)?

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The Expected Family Contribution (EFC) provides a measure of a family’s financial strength and will be used in determining a student’s financial need.   Though used to calculate a student’s financial aid award, the EFC does not represent an expected payment amount to the school.  A lower EFC translates to a higher financial need, which may result in a higher financial aid award.  If an EFC is higher than our estimated yearly budget, then a student does not have demonstrated financial need.

Am I eligible for a Pell Grant?

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Pell Grants are only available to undergraduate student without a prior bachelor’s degree.  The amounts vary from $588 to $5,815 per academic year for full-time students and will be prorated for part-time enrollment.  Your Student Aid Report (SAR) will indicate whether you have met the threshold for Pell Grant eligibility.  In addition to need, a student must meet general eligibility requirements as established by the Department of Education.

What are the general eligibility requirements for financial aid?

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Some of the general eligibility requirements would include: • You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen. • You must have a valid Social Security number. • You must comply with Selective Service registration requirements. • You must certify on the FAFSA that you are not in default on a federal student loan and do not owe a refund on a federal student grant. • You must meet satisfactory academic progress standards as determined by our institution. • You must sign a statement on the FAFSA certifying that you will use federal student aid for educational purposes. • You must be enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a regular student working toward a degree or certificate in an eligible program. • You must demonstrate that you are qualified to enroll in postsecondary education (e.g. have a high school diploma or a General Education Development (GED) certificate, pass an approved ability to benefit test).

Are there rules for immigrants to qualify for a Pell Grant?

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Yes. To qualify for a Pell Grant you must be able to live and attend school legally in the United States as a U.S. citizen, U.S. national or eligible non-citizen. If you are an eligible non-citizen, you must be a: • U.S. permanent resident (has Alien Registration Card or I-551); • Conditional permanent resident (has I-551C Card); • Refugee; • Asylum grantee; • Parolee; or • Cuban-Haitian entrant with an Arrival Departure Record (I-94) from the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).

How and when do I apply for a Pell Grant?

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When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you are not only applying for Pell Grant but all federal aid.  Your FAFSA application will also be used in determining your eligibility for some state and institutional aid programs.  Students may complete the FAFSA beginning on January 1st prior to their Fall semester enrollment.

How long can I continue to receive a Pell Grant?

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Any student receiving Pell Grant funding is now limited to a maximum of 12 semesters of Pell Grant. The number of semesters included in this maximum lifetime amount covers all previous aid periods for which the student received a Pell Grant.

How will I know if I am eligible for a Pell Grant?

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Initially, you will be notified of your Pell Grant eligibility through your Student Aid Report (SAR) issued by the Department of Education.  As we process your financial aid application, our office will also send out notices of financial aid offers which you will be able to view on-line through Vision (https://vision.oru.edu).   As with all aid, Pell Grants will not be disbursed to your student account until the end of the add/drop period for the term enrolled.

How many credit hours do I have to take to get a Pell Grant?

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You must be enrolled in at least three (3) credit hours to receive a Pell Grant. Pell Grant Awards are prorated when a student is enrolled less than full time.

Can the amount of my Pell Grant change?

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Yes, Pell Grants are awarded to students who qualify for this need-based Federal Grant  based on information communicated by the FAFSA. During verification a student’s need level is re-evaluated, which may impact the student’s ability to receive a Pell Grant. Sometimes, Pell Grant awards may increase in value from these changes, but more typically, verification may reduce the amount.  Also, your Pell Grant award may be prorated if you are enrolled as less than full-time. 

How much money can I get through Pell Grant program?

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The maximum Pell Grant for the 2016–17 award year is $5,815. The amount of the grant depends on both the student’s EFC and several other factors. These factors are the student’s cost of attendance (tuition and fees, room and board, books, supplies, and so on) and the amount of time the student attends school (whether the student goes to school for a full academic year or less and whether the student is full-time or part-time). An eligible part-time student can receive a Pell Grant. The amount awarded, however, will be less than for a full-time student. An applicant may not receive Pell Grant funds from more than one school at a time.  With recent changes to federal regulations, students are no longer able to receive more than one full Pell Grant per year.

How often do I have to apply for the Pell Grant?

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You need to apply once per academic year via the FAFSA.  For each school year, please submit your FAFSA application online at www.fafsa.ed.gov as early as possible, but no earlier than October 1st.

If I get a Pell Grant, when will it disburse to my account?

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Your Pell Grant award will be scheduled for disbursement based on your anticipated enrollment. Pell Grant awards will not disburse until after the census date, which will be the last day of the add/drop period for the term enrolled.  Funds for subsequent semesters will not be disbursed to students in advance.

What documentation will I need to apply for a Pell Grant?

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To apply for a Pell Grant you will need to submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You need the following information in order to complete your FAFSA:

• Actual or estimated tax returns; • W-2 Forms and other records of earnings; • Records of untaxed income (e.g. Social Security and veteran’s benefits records) • Investment records; • Bank statements; • Mortgage information; • Business and farm records; • Driver’s license; and • Social Security Number. For married or dependent students family financial information will be needed as well.

What if neither I nor my parents will file an income tax return?

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If you or your parents are required to file a tax return, you must do so in order to be eligible for not just the Pell Grant but all Federal aid.  If you are not required to file taxes, please select the “will not file” option on the FAFSA application.  If selected for verification, you will need to provide supporting documentation for all income you had for the year in question.

What is a Pell Grant?

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The Federal Pell Grant is a student financial aid program designed to assist students in pursuing their undergraduate degree. The purpose of the Pell Grant is to provide eligible students with a “foundation” of financial aid to help defray the cost of post secondary education. This grant does not have to be repaid, unless the student withdraws from school and owes a refund.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is used to process the Pell Grant. A Student Aid Report (SAR) will be sent to the applicant from the Department of Education communicating the amount of Pell Grant, if any, for which a student qualifies. Full awards are based on a minimum of 12 hours. Students taking between 9-11 hours will be awarded on a three-quarter basis. Those taking 6-8 hours will be awarded on a half-time basis. Students enrolled for less than half-time will be awarded on a less than half-time basis. Awards range from $600 to $5,645 for the 2013-2014 academic year. Students enrolled as undergraduates and have earned a bachelor’s degree are not eligible.

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