Maximize Your Pell Amount

There are a few ways to ensure that you get the most out of the Pell Grant every year.

Since the Pell is based on the EFC, the key to getting a better Pell Grant is to have the lowest EFC possible.

If the student has investments like stocks or bonds, it would be best to have those investments put into a grandparent’s name for the duration of the student’s education. This will ensure that the investment information will not go on the FAFSA.

Retirement plans do not have to be reported on the FAFSA since they are pre-tax dollars and you can not access them without a penalty before you’re 59.5 years old. If possible, maximize the amount in your 401(k) or retirement plan and have less money in savings.

If you are planning on making a big purchase, plan to make it before filling out the FAFSA so your application does not show excess cash in bank accounts.

If possible, have more than one person in the household attend college at the same time. The government allows greater allowances from households with more that one student attending college.

If you are considered a dependent student by the government’s standards, you must put your parents’ information on the FAFSA.