It all starts with filling out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The financial aid office of the school you are attending determines the amount of aid you are eligible to receive based upon the information you provide on the FAFSA. This one form not only determines Pell Grant eligibility but also Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants, College Work-study, and determines whether you are are eligible to receive student loans.
In order to receive financial aid you must
- have financial need
- be enrolled in a degree program
- maintain satisfactory academic progress toward a degree
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- be registered with Selective Service, if required
- not be in default of a loan, or owe a repayment of any aid received
The earlier you fill out the FAFSA the better. It must be filled out or renewed EVERY year. If your FAFSA form is filled out before March 1st you may also qualify for a Rhode Island Higher Education Grant.