How to Check When Pell Grants Disbursements Are Made

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    • 1). Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid form, or FAFSA. You can submit a FAFSA online as well as by hard copy form. The FAFSA booklet is available at your local library, your high school guidance office or any local college financial aid office. You can request them directly from the Department of Education by calling 800-433-3243.

    • 2). Review your student aid report. The SAR lists the amount of Pell Grant funds for which you have been approved, as well as information about other programs to which you are entitled. Pell Grants are not intended to fully cover the cost of tuition. The average award covers around 40 percent of tuition cost. Your application to the program and SAR is also the gateway to applying for other supplemental financial aid, such as Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants.

    • 3). Contact your college or university's financial aid office for their policies about disbursements. Pell Grant funds are disbursed to your school directly. Your school's financial aid office determines both how and when that money is used in your best interest. Typically, half your grant disbursement will be placed in your student account on your first day of classes. The remainder is held in reserve to prevent fraud. Pell Grant money is intended for use to cover tuition expenses first. If there is a balance, you can elect to have it credited to you via a check issued from the school's cashier's office, or a direct deposit to your bank account.

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