A Federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Pell Grants are usually awarded only 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.) Pell Grants are considered a foundation of federal financial aid, to which aid from other federal and nonfederal sources might be added.
The maximum award for the 2018-19 award year (July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019) is $6,095. The maximum can change each award year and depends on program funding. The amount a student can receive, however, will depend not only on financial need, but also on total costs to attend school, status as a full-time or part-time student, and plans to attend school for a full academic year or less.