Pell Grant?

I'm going to have to give some background, bear with me

 I'm 17 In a few weeks and when I turn 18 my father is going to kick me out. so I have a year but I need answers now. Ill have a semester of HS left due to being a dec. baby and I'll probably be living on my own working and going to school, but I'm really dead-set on going to college and making something of myself. There's a college in my home state (KS) that will give a full-ride scholarship to those with the "Grit necessary"ect. but one of the requirements to receive this full ride scholarship is i have to also fit the requirements for and receive a Pell Grant, does my aforementioned predicament still qualify me for a Pell Grant? 

3 Answers

  • nancy
    Lv 7
    9 months ago

    That depends somewhat on the situation and the school you will be attending. Pell eligibility is determined by the information you submit on the FAFSA and can be affected by whether you are a dependent or independent student. A dependent student must include parent information on the application, an independent student uses only his own income, so typically an independent is likely to be more eligible for the Pell than a dependent (but not always...). Dependency is determined by a series of questions on the application (are you over age 24, married, supporting your own dependent, in the military, homeless, etc). Simply living apart from your parent does not make you independent. This is because there is a long history of parents trying to game the system by having their child move out so they can qualify for more aid. However, the FAFSA does recognize that there are situations in which it is is not appropriate to include parent information. For that there are two pathways: the student can document that he is homeless, or the school can override the dependency status because they have determined that it would be impossible or unsafe for the student to obtain parent information. Each school has its own standards, but in general: To be considered homeless, you would need to show that you are self supporting and lacking fixed, permanent, and adequate housing. This is used for students who are living in places like a homeless shelter, motel, campground, in a car, or couch surfing with no permanent address. If you find yourself living in a homeless shelter, a letter from the director should be sufficient. Otherwise, you'll need to provide whatever documentation that the school asks for to prove your situation. If you're not homeless, then it's possible that the school will choose to do a dependency override. In that case, they'll probably want a statement from you describing why it would be unsafe or impossible for you to obtain your parent's information. They will also want two letters from professional sources (teacher, guidance counselor, medical professional, police records, etc) who are familiar with your situation and that confirm your story. Schools tend to be sceptical of situations where the student was living at home with no apparent issues and the parent "kicks him out" at a specific age which, conveniently, happens to be just before he applies for aid to go to college. It's not acceptable for it to be a case where your parent simply thinks you're grown up now and should be on your own, but you're maintaining regular contact, they're slipping you some rent money when you're short, and you're showing up for Sunday dinner every week. For that to fly you'll have to be able to show a history of issues leading up to being kicked out, that you have no contact or support from the parent, and that the situation will be permanent. Because each case is unique, there are no hard and fast rules for this, so you'll have to work with the school to determine your status.

  • 9 months ago

    To receive a Pell grant, you need to fill out a FAFSA and have an EFC below a certain cutoff (usually around 5000 or so). EFC stands for "expected family contribution," which sounds like a dollar amount, it's not - it's a measure of relative financial need. An EFC of 0 is maximum financial need, that's the best "score" you can get on the FAFSA.

    Regardless of your dad's plans vis-a-vis supporting you, the federal government considers college students to be dependent for financial aid purposes until they meet at least one of the following criteria:

    - 24 years of age

    - Married

    - Have children/other dependents 

    - Active-duty military or veteran (honorably discharged)

    - Under legal guardianship of someone other than biological or adoptive parents

    - Emancipated minor

    If you don't meet any of those, you will be required to report at least one parent's information on the FAFSA. If your parents are currently married to each other, you need both of them; if they aren't currently married to each other, it'll be the one you lived with more over the past year (as of the day you complete the FAFSA), and their spouse's information if that parent is currently married to someone else. "Information" includes your parent(s)' name, DOB, SSN, and tax information for 2019 (assuming from your post that you'll be graduating HS in 2021 and starting college for the 2021-2022 school year).

    Schools *can* do what's called a Professional Judgment Dependency Override if getting parental information for the FAFSA presents a hardship to the student. Usually, that's something like "my only remaining parent is incarcerated in another state" or "if my parent finds out where I live I fear for my safety," so "my dad kicked me out on my 18th birthday, but I know where he is and how to contact him" is probably not going to qualify for a dependency override, but you might talk to the college(s) that you're interested in attending and ask them what their policy is - some schools hand out PJDOs like cheap cigars. 

  • 9 months ago

    Under KS law, your parents are legally obligated to support you until you turn 18 or graduate high school, whichever is later.  If your father kicks you out before you graduate, you can turn him into CPS.

    Pell grants are needs based.  Less money from your parents means you get more Pell grant.  If you father did kick you out, you'd end up getting more financial aid and grants.

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