Pell Grants Explained

Megan Grant & Andrew Rush, Communitarian Feature Writers

(Oct. 11) Pell grants have aided many students in investing in their future, including students at Delaware County Community College. In the year 2021, Congress allocated over $7 billion to the Pell grant program to assist students seeking higher education. According to College Droid, a digital analytics webpage, Delaware County Community College receives over $1 million in Pell grants. 

According to Education Data Initiative, the average cost of college tuition at public and private postsecondary institutions in the United States has ballooned 180% and 130% respectively since 1970. The average private, nonprofit university student spends $54,501 per academic year, $37,641 of it on tuition and fees. As a result of this, many young people seeking higher education apply for a form of federal student aid known as a “Pell grant.” 

The grant program has been around since 1972 and has been awarded to over one-third of undergraduate students across America and around 47% of Delaware County Community College students.

Pell grants are need-based federal financial aid, which is usually not repaid. This form of financial aid is awarded to undergraduate students who are facing great financial need and have not received a bachelor’s, graduate, or professional degree. Those who have been incarcerated may not be eligible for Pell grants. 

In recent years, Congress has increased the maximum amount students can receive by $400, making the maximum amount in 2022, $6,895. Congress has also widened the access for students. In the upcoming year, individuals who have been formerly convicted and incarcerated for petty or drug-related crimes will now be eligible to receive Pell grants.

Students looking to receive federal financial aid will have to fill out the yearly FAFSA (Free Application of Federal Student Aid) form. Go to

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