Government Pell Grants

William Jennings Bryan once said, “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved”, and many times that includes help using Pell Grants for college. Making your own destiny means making the right choices in life and in education. Expanding the mind includes expanding the wallet – so here we’ll separate the myths and facts about government Pell Grants.

Student Pell Grants

Many noted successful figures in life earned their trade school and college degrees in full or in part thanks to student Pell Grants. While Government Pell Grants for college can indeed be considered “free money for school”, the money you get can only be used for things in life which are directly related to your classes and education. Some of the uses for student Pell Grants are:

  • College or trade school tuition
  • Costs of related room, board and upkeep
  • Your direct transportation costs to and from school and school activities
  • Uniforms, if required
  • Required books, notebooks and related school supplies
  • Computers, if required by the school
  • Classroom lab accessories and supplies
  • All associated school fees and taxes


Myths about Government Pell Grants

With so much hearsay on campus, it’s a sure bet that you’ve heard about students bragging about the money they got from government Pell Grants. Be careful what you believe, because the government Pell Grant allotment has stringent use guidelines. Some myths associated with use of student Pell Grants are:

  • The college will simply hand you a check for the total amount awarded
  • You can use the awarded money for a new car
  • You will get a large lump sum to do with as you please
  • You can use the money to pay off medical bills
  • You can use the money to pay off past legal obligations, such as child support

The college or trade school will indeed issue you a check for anything above and beyond the fees, taxes, books and lab fees. And many schools will gladly add what’s called a “living stipend”, or money literally given to you for the use of everyday expenses associated with going to school.

Pell Grants Disqualifications

Because Student Pell Grants are set up with your overall success in mind, there are rules which are designed to weed out those serious about getting their education from those who are simply playing the system. Some things which will stop your Pell Grant cold and in some cases, force a repayment of awarded and issued funds are:

  • Your GPA dropping below 2.0
  • Disruptive classroom or on-campus behavior resulting in forced banishment
  • Being convicted of crime against other students
  • Being convicted of any federal crime
  • Being convicted of any crime related to sexual assault or drugs

William Jennings Bryan hit the nail on the head.  Destiny is not a matter of chance, but it is a matter of choice. Choose to live well and make a good life for yourself and your loved ones. Government Pell Grants can help you do just that by giving you a solid start in higher education.