Your financial need for funding is based on your family’s actual income and your need for financial aid.
Your family’s actual income depends on the family size and number of people enrolled in college, as discussed above.
Your family need is based on your family’s gross income. Your actual gross income is the amount your family has adjusted for your family size, your family size, and your enrollment status.
Note that the actual income figure that you report (gross income) might not reflect your family size to some extent, since these numbers are affected by the cost of living, and you might be able to pay more money in higher income areas.
It’s important that we count the cost of living to our calculation. (For more information, see Cost of Living Adjustments.)
To qualify for Pell Grants, you’ll need to have a family income below 200% of the federal poverty level – about $28,700 for 2017 (a household of 1 person, 2 kids or 1 household of 3 people). If you’re below 200%, you probably aren’t eligible.
To see which family income thresholds are the most important for the family you attend college with, see the chart of the family type, below (note that the total family income of colleges is limited to 150% of the federal poverty level for Pell Grants: 150% – 200% or 150% – 250% for 2018 – 2019).
Family type Average family income for a Pell Grant recipient $28,700
200% of poverty $28,700
300% of poverty $33,280
400% of poverty $39,640
500% of poverty $50,700
800% of poverty $68,560
1,000% of poverty $89,040
What happens if I’m not eligible for Pell Grants?
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