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Contact: Marla Harrington
Financial Aid Coordinator
660-646-3414 OR fax 660 646 3568

Federal Pell Grant

A federal Pell Grant, unlike a loan, does not have to be repaid. To determine if you are eligible financially, the U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula established by Congress to evaluate the information you report when you apply. The formula produces an Expected Family Contribution (EFC) number. Your Student Aid Report (SAR) contains this number and will tell if you are eligible. The EFC is the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education. If your EFC is low enough, you will be eligible for a Federal Pell Grant, assuming you meet all other eligibility requirements.

Dependency Status

When you apply for a Pell Grant, your answers to certain questions will determine whether you are considered dependent on your parents or independent. If you are considered dependent on your parents, you must report their income and assets, as well as your own. If you are independent, you must report only your own income and assets (and those of your spouse, if you are married).

If you think you have unusual circumstances that would make you independent even though you do not meet the criteria, talk to your Aid Administrator. He or she can change your status if he/she thinks your circumstances warrant it based on the documentation you provide. But, remember, the Aid Administrator will not automatically do this for you. That decision is based on his/her judgement, and it is final - you cannot appeal it to the U.S. Department of Education.


You must apply using the current FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form. You may submit a FAFSA:

  1. by mailing a paper FAFSA (available at the GRTS Financial Aid Office or from your high school counselor)
  2. through the Internet by using FAFSA online at their Web site.

Apply as soon after January 1 as possible. It is best to complete the application after you have already filed your previous year's tax return. You must reapply for aid each school year.

Link to FAFSA on the Web - U.S. Dept. of Education Free Application for Federal Student Aid

GRTS does not have a specific deadline for Pell applications; however, our priority date is April 1 each year. This allows adequate time for enrollment and financial planning.

Special Circumstances

Pell eligibility is based on need. If you believe your family has unusual circumstances, such as unusually high medical expenses or a recently unemployed family member, for example, that might affect the amount you and your family are expected to contribute toward your education, your Financial Aid Administrator may make adjustments to your application. But, remember, there have to be very good reasons for the Financial Aid Administrator to make any adjustments; and, you will have to provide adequate proof to support these adjustments. Also, remember that the FAFSA decision is final and cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education.

If you have any questions about your application, please call Marla Harrington, Financial Aid Administrator of GRTS, at 660-646-3414. Or, you may also call toll free 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243).

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This page updated by BK Web Works 05/27/2009.

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