What Are Pell Grant Requirements in Texas?

by Shea Laverty

In the modern work place, more employers are preferring to hire college-educated applicants. Not everyone can afford the cost of a college education, however, which includes books, tuition and living expenses. Grants like the Pell Grant were designed to help students pursue such an education when they otherwise couldn't. To apply for a Pell Grant in Texas, there are a number of requirements that must be met.

Citizenship

To apply for any federal student aid, students must be United States citizens or eligible noncitizens of the United States with a valid Social Security number.

High School Education

Students also must have a high school diploma or a General Educational Development (GED) certificate, or must pass an approved "ability to benefit" test.

Selective Service

Male applicants for federal student aid who are between the ages of 18 and 25 must register or be registered with the Selective Service.

Drug-Related Criminal Offenses

If the student was convicted of the sale or possession of illegal drugs at any point while receiving federal student aid, including a Pell Grant, he must complete a Student Aid Eligibility Worksheet. This will help determine if he is eligible or partially eligible for federal student aid.

Previous College Education

Pell Grants are only awarded to undergraduate students who have not already earned a bachelor's or professional degree. This means that any applicant who already possesses a bachelor's or professional degree is ineligible for a Pell Grant.

FAFSA

Eligibility for a Pell Grant is determined chiefly from the applicant's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form. This application asks a number of questions regarding a student and her family's assets, income and dependency. The answers from these questions are entered into a formula that determines the family's Expected Family Contribution (EFC).

EFC

The next step in determining eligibility comes from the EFC. The information from the FAFSA form is used with a standardized formula to determine the financial need of a prospective student. This formula also helps determine the amount of aid to be dispensed. The lower an EFC is, the more aid a student will receive. This number is affected by a number of factors, including dependent children, the student's income or his parents' income, the number of siblings or dependents in college, and other financial factors.

Semester Hours

Eligibility for a Pell Grant does not require the student to be a full-time student. The amount of aid for the Pell Grant, however, depends on the amount of semester hours for which the student is enrolled on the last published day of adds and drops. To receive the full Pell Grant, the student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 hours on that day. Should the number drop below 12 hours on or before that date, the student will be required to repay some of or the entire Pell Grant.

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