Pell Grants are generally for students working toward their first bachelor's degree. If you're hoping to use the Pell Grant after you get your four-year degree, make sure that you're qualified. Right now, there's one exception to the "must be an undergraduate" rule. You can be working on a post-baccalaureate program leading to a teaching certificate.

Know that you must be an undergraduate, or working on an approved post-baccalaureate program, to be eligible to receive Pell Grants. Post-baccalaureate programs related to getting a teaching degree are eligible for Pell Grants. Check with the Federal Student Aid handbook on Pell Grants to see if you're eligible (see Resources).

Go to your college financial aid, admissions or bursar office to apply for financial aid. You have to apply for all financial aid to get a Pell Grant. You can apply for financial aid online. Check with the Federal Student Aid website to get started (see Resources).

Apply to get a Pell Grant for your post-baccalaureate certification. Fill the forms out completely. Ask the financial aid official any questions you have about the financial aid application. When applicable, indicate your teaching certificate program on the application forms. Also indicate that you already have a bachelor's degree if the application forms require that information. Follow the Federal Student Aid website's application instruction if you apply online.

Follow up on your application after you apply to get a Pell Grant. Give the office a few business days to process and forward your application. Check up with them to see how your application is doing. Know that you could follow up on your financial aid application online if you applied online. Simply go to the web page where you applied to get a Pell Grant, then click on the "Check Status" option.