How to Find Out If You Have a Pell Grant

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In a tweet Wednesday President Biden announced $10,000 in student debt relief for most borrowers, while recipients of Federal Pell Grants will have $20,000 in debt forgiven. So you might be wondering: Is there an easy way to check if you’re a Pell Grant recipient? Spoiler: Yes. Here’s how to check whether or not you have a Pell Grant and qualify for an additional $10,000 in federal loan debt relief.

Do I have a Pell Grant?

The process to check the status of your Pell Grant is fairly straightforward.

  1. Log into your Federal Student Aid account via Your official FSA dashboard is the first thing you see when you log in. Other sources call this the FAFSA portal; for today’s purposes, they’re the same thing. Note: This is not the same portal as where you may typically make student loan payments (e.g., through a servicer like Sallie Mae).
  2. Go to “My Aid” on your FSA dashboard. You should see a chart that includes “Loans” and “Grants.”
  3. Click on “View Details.” If you have Pell Grants, the amounts awarded to you should be right there.

In other words: As soon as you log into your FSA account, your Pell Grant information should be readily available on the main page. If no Pell Grant amounts show up in your portal, then you most likely are not a recipient.

What is a Pell Grant?

A Federal Pell Grant is typically awarded to undergraduates who display exceptional financial need. The amount awarded is need-based and varies depending on factors like tuition and expected family contribution. The current maximum amount granted is $6,895 per academic year. Unlike a loan, Pell Grants do not need to be repaid.

How do I claim student debt forgiveness?

Sit tight for now. The application will be available no later than Dec. 31, once the pause on federal student loan repayments ends.

Biden’s announcement also stated that both tiers of debt forgiveness only apply to borrowers who earn less than $125,000 a year, or families earning less than $250,000. The plan also allows borrowers with undergraduate loans to cap repayment at 5% of their monthly income.

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