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Federal Pell Grants

A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are awarded to undergraduate students who have not earned a bachelor's or a professional degree. (In some cases, however, a student enrolled in a post baccalaureate teacher certification program might receive a Pell Grant.)

How much can I get?

Awards for the 2002-03 award year (July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003) will depend on program funding. The maximum award for the 2002-03 award year is $4,000. The amount you get will depend not only on your financial need, but also on your costs to attend school, your status as a full-time or part-time student, and your plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.

If I'm eligible, how will I get the Pell Grant money?

Your school can apply Pell Grant funds to your school costs, pay you directly (usually by check), or combine these methods. The school must tell you in writing how much your award will be and how and when you'll be paid. Schools must disburse funds at least once per term (semester, trimester, or quarter). Schools that do not use semesters, trimesters, or quarters must disburse funds at least twice per academic year.

SOURCE: The U.S. Department of Education's guide "Funding Your Education 2002/2003."

© 2002 The Washington Post Company