How do I know if I have a Pell Grant?

U.S.
Piggy bank with graduation cap beside a student loan coin jar

Do you have any Pell Grants? Here’s a quick way to find out. (Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) — President Biden’s Wednesday announcement of $10,000 in student debt relief for borrowers came with a new detail: those who received Federal Pell Grants will have $20,000 in debt forgiven.

Now you may be wondering: Do I have a Pell Grant?

Here’s how to check.

  1. Log into your Federal Student Aid account. This may be a different place than where you typically make payments to your student loans.
  2. Your official FSA Dashboard should show a visual breakdown of your aid account by “My Aid.” (See below).
  3. The chart should differentiate between amounts of “Loans” and “Grants.” You can click “View Details” for further information and to learn if your grants are Pell Grants.
Screenshot from Federal Student Aid dashboard.

Details on further eligibility or next steps for those who did receive Pell Grants will come before student loan repayments resume in January 2023, the administration says. The $20,000 debt forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients and the regular $10,000 forgiveness for other students are both restricted to people who made below $125,000 (single people) or $250,000 (married).

In case you’re wondering — or have forgotten since you graduated — what is a Pell Grant?

A Federal Pell Grant is typically awarded to undergraduate students who display exceptional financial need, the U.S. Department of Education’s Federal Student Aid office explains. Amounts given each year can fluctuate depending on a variety of factors, including school costs, student’s full- or part-time status, and expected family contribution.

The current maximum Federal Pell Grant award amount is $6,895 per academic year. While Pell Grants typically don’t have to be repaid, the department says they do under some circumstances.

Wednesday’s announcement came after months of speculation on what steps the Biden administration would take to address student debt, which totals about $1.6 trillion nationally.

“In keeping with my campaign promise, my Administration is announcing a plan to give working and middle class families breathing room as they prepare to resume federal student loan payments in January 2023,” Biden tweeted Wednesday morning.

Borrowers with undergraduate loans will also be able to cap repayment at 5% of their monthly income, the White House said.

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