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Federal Pell Grant


These federally funded grants help almost 10 million full- and part-time college and vocational school students nationally.

Who is Eligible?

Students with family incomes up to $65,000 may be eligible for Pell Grants. However, most Pell awards go to students with family incomes below $30,000. There is no charge to apply for a Federal Pell Grant.

You also must meet certain conditions to receive federal aid.

Students can receive Pell Grants for their undergraduate study until they complete a baccalaureate or their first professional degree (such as pharmacy or dentistry) or have received a Pell Grant for the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters, whichever comes first.

How Much Money Can You Get?

In 2020-2021, the grants range from $639 to $6,345. The average grant in 2019-2020 for all Pell recipients nationally was approximately $4,120. The average grant in 2019-2020 for students at Minnesota schools was approximately $3,640.

How is the Award Determined?

Pell Grants are based on a formula that is applied in the same manner to all applicants. The formula is revised and approved each year by the U.S. Congress. The actual award a student receives depends on a number of factors including:

  • The price of attendance.
  • The family's financial situation.
  • Family size.
  • Whether the student is attending full-time or part-time.

Where Can You Use the Pell Grant?

The grants may be used at almost any school the student chooses to attend. Financial aid administrators at each school can tell you whether the institution and its programs are eligible for the Federal Pell Grant Program.

What Is the Application Process?

Apply for a Federal Pell Grant by completing the FAFSA on the Web.

The paper FAFSA can also be downloaded at

Once the FAFSA has been completed and filed, the progress of the application can be tracked by calling the Federal Student Aid Information Center toll-free at (800) 433-3243 between 9 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time), Monday through Friday. You also can check the status of your FAFSA online.