Federal Pell Grant
Eligibility is based on Financial Need as determined by the FAFSA.
To learn more about the Pell Grant, please visit studentaid.gov.
How to Apply
- Fill out and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- You must complete the FAFSA form every year you’re in school in order to remain eligible for federal aid (including Pell Grants), state aid (Cal Grants), and institutional need-based aid.
Declining & Returning Awards
- Students may decline all or any portion of a Pell Grant award that has not yet been disbursed. In this case, students must provide schools with signed, written statements that they are declining all or some portion of the Pell Grant award and confirming that they understand that the funds may not be available once the award year ends.
- Students may return Pell Grant funds in the same award year in which the funds were disbursed. Students must provide schools with signed, written statements confirming that they are returning the grant funds and that they understand that the funds may not be available once the award year ends. Students must return Pell Grant funds directly to the schools.
Maximum Time Frame
- The maximum time frame during which a student is eligible to receive a Pell Grant is 12 semesters. Due to this limit, some students may not want to accept their Pell Grant funds every award year. For instance, the student may believe they will be eligible for a higher Pell award in a subsequent year or they may plan to transfer to a higher-cost school in a future year. As such, the student may request to either decline or return their Pell Grant within the active award year.
Upcoming Pell Grant Changes for 2024-25
- A recently passed law known as the FAFSA Simplification Act will enact a sweeping redesign of the processes, systems, and formulas used to award federal student aid and directly affects the way Pell Grant eligibility is determined. Click here for more information on the 2024-25 FAFSA Simplification Act.