What Is a Pell Grant?

The following short article is written to provide general advice about online education and degrees, not just information specific to WGU. If you have specific questions about WGU, feel free to inquire online or speak with an enrollment counselor (1-866-225-5948).

understanding a Pell Grant

Pell Grants have been helping students afford higher education since 1972, when they were originally authorized as Basic Education Opportunity Grants (BEOG) or “Basic Grants.” The Pell Grant is based on need, not prior academic achievement.

When you complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is available to all students regardless of age, finances, or college program, you will receive a determination regarding your eligibility for a Pell Grant. The federal government uses a standard formula to compute your eligibility and if you qualify, the amount of the Pell Grant you might receive. Keep in mind there is a lifetime limit of 12 semesters of Pell Grants, regardless of the cumulative dollar amount.

This program tries to meet its original goal: to give all students, regardless of financial hardship, the opportunity to further their education. As you search for an accredited affordable online bachelor’s degree program that meets your criteria, a Pell Grant may offer some funds (that need not ever be repaid) to help you meet your tuition requirements. In combination with online college scholarships and federal (or private) student loans, a Pell Grant has helped millions of students earn an affordable online college degree.