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Federal Pell Grants are typically awarded to undergraduate college students who demonstrate financial need. With the exception of students enrolled in some graduate-level teacher certification programs, only individuals who have not previously earned a bachelor's or professional degree are eligible to receive Pell Grants.
To apply for a Pell Grant, the student has to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The amount of Pell Grant funding that a student qualifies for depends on a variety of factors, including his or her level of need, student status (full-time or part-time), and cost of attendance.
A student's Pell Grant funds are disbursed directly to his or her school. The institution can apply the college grant money directly to tuition, issue funds to the student, or a combination of both.