A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Federal Pell Grants usually are awarded only to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a postbaccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Federal Pell Grant.) You are not eligible to receive a Federal Pell Grant if you are incarcerated in a federal or state penal institution or are subject to an involuntary civil commitment upon completion of a period of incarceration for a forcible or nonforcible sexual offense.
Amounts can change yearly. For the current award year (July 1 to June 30), the maximum award is $5,815. The amount you get, though, will depend on:
-Your financial need
-Your cost of attendance
-Your status as a full-time or part-time student
-?Your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less
Effective on July 1, 2012, you can receive the Federal Pell Grant for no more than 12 semesters or the equivalent (roughly six years). You'll receive a notice if you're getting close to your limit. If you have any questions, contact your financial aid office.
Your school can apply Federal Pell Grant funds to your school costs, pay you directly, or combine these methods.
For more information, please visit the Federal Student Aid's website.