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FEDERAL PELL GRANT PROGRAM
The Federal PELL Grant Program is a source of federal student financial aid which became available for the first time during the 1973-74 academic year. The purpose of the Federal PELL Grant Program is to provide eligible students with a "floor" of financial aid to help them defray the costs of post-secondary education. Student eligibility is primarily based on financial need determined on the basis of a formula developed by the U.S. Department of Education and reviewed by Congress annually and is applied uniformly to all applicants. The result of applying this formula is called the Family Contribution and is solely for purposes of determining the amount of a student's Federal PELL Grant award.
The authorizing legislation for Federal PELL Grant Program stipulates that no payment of a Federal PELL Grant can exceed one-half the cost of education. Cost of education for the purposes of this program includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, and miscellaneous expenses.
The Federal PELL Grant award is a grant and, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. Students receive these grants based on financial need and, of course, they are to be used solely for educational purposes.
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