BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WAIT) — More and more students are missing out on financial aid because they’re not applying for it.
Two million students could have qualified for federal Pell Grants in the 2011 school year did not because they did not apply.
Of that group, 1.3 million would have received the full $5,645 need-based Pell Grant, but the students didn’t even fill out a form.
A study showed that nearly half of the students thought they were ineligible. Many people think income level is the sole requirement, but it is not.
Other factors that help determine eligibility are expected family contribution, assets, the number of children in the family who are in college and the cost of college.
Nearly 96 percent of recipients of Pell Grants are from families making less than $50,000 a year, but experts say students shouldn’t automatically exclude themselves by not applying. Many people don’t apply because they don’t want to take on debt, but the Pell Grant does not need to be paid back.
2014 WIAT-TV CBS42