Colleges That Give the Most Pell Grants

Low-income students can find many other students on Pell Grants at these colleges and universities.

By Ashley Henshaw | February 17, 2017

Ivy Tech has over 100,000 students.

Pell Grants give low-income students a financial boost when pursuing a college education. The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) reports that 36 percent of all undergraduates received Pell Grants for the 2012-2013 school year, up from just 25 percent five years before. In this article, you’ll find out which colleges awarded the most Pell Grants for the 2011-2012 school year according to a report from the U.S. Department of Education.

If you’re from a low-income family, Pell Grants can be a great way to help pay for your college education.

Four-Year Public and Private Universities

If you’re interested in pursuing a traditional college experience at a four-year institution, check out these schools, which offer the most Pell Grants in this category:

Arizona State University

Total Pell Grants Awarded: $100,792,915
Pell Grant Recipients: 25,686
Average Award: $4,002

With a main campus in Tempe, Arizona State University also offers classes online and at three other campuses throughout the area. According to the Wall Street Journal, ASU is ranked fifth in the nation for producing the best-qualified graduates.

Liberty University

Total Pell Grants Awarded: $97,588,481
Pell Grant Recipients: 28,618
Average Award: $3,638

Located in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University is a private, Christian Evangelical institution. In addition to offering state-of-the-art technology and facilities, Liberty University is also known for hosting a number of Christian speakers and performers.

Pennsylvania State University

Total Pell Grants Awarded: $85,244,240
Pell Grant Recipients: 23,649
Average Award: $3,784

With a main campus in University Park and several additional campuses throughout the state, Pennsylvania State University (commonly known as Penn State) offers over 160 degree programs for undergrads. As a part of the Big Ten conference, athletics are a fun and exciting part of the college experience here.

Community Colleges

Since their affordable tuition rates attract many low-income students, it’s no surprise that community colleges also award many Pell Grants each year. Below are the community colleges that top the list:

Ivy Tech Community College

Total Pell Grants Awarded: $238,893,996
Pell Grant Recipients: 78,700
Average Award: $3,425

First started in Indianapolis, Ivy Tech Community College now has 15 other locations throughout the state of Indiana. The student body at all Ivy Tech locations totals over 100,000. Students in Indiana and Ohio can also enroll in Ivy Tech’s online degree program.

Houston Community College

Total Pell Grants Awarded: $100,235,109
Pell Grant Recipients: 31,675
Average Award: $4,242

With 15 campuses in the greater Houston area, Houston Community College is a popular choice among Pell Grant recipients. In addition to traditional associate’s degree and certificate programs, Houston Community College also offers continuing education courses in areas like business and computers.

Lone Star Community College

Total Pell Grants Awarded: $87,340,469
Pell Grant Recipients: 26,624
Average Award: $3,462

Lone Star Community College has six Houston-area campuses, along with campuses in three other Texas counties. Students at this college can earn associate’s degrees and certificates. Lone Star also has special programs for veterans.

For-Profit Colleges and Universities

A number of for-profit colleges and universities top the list for the most Pell Grants awarded. This is likely due in part to the fact that many of these colleges have a massive student body spread over numerous campuses and online degree programs. The following for-profit colleges awarded the most Pell Grants in the 2011-2012 school year:

University of Phoenix

Total of Pell Grants Awarded: $945,602,843
Pell Grant recipients: 259,998
Average Award: $3,690 (Phoenix campus), $3,692 (Online campus)

The University of Phoenix was founded at its Phoenix campus, but has since grown to include more than 100 campuses and learning centers across the country. In addition, their online programs are extremely popular; according to the NCES, over 256,000 online students are enrolled. Students can earn everything from certificates to doctoral degrees through this university. Out of all the colleges in the country, the University of Phoenix awards the most Pell Grants by far. In fact, their students are awarded over $640,000,000 more in Pell Grants per year than the second college on the list.

Ashford University

Total Pell Grants Awarded: $298,703,802
Pell Grant Recipients: 83,859
Average Award: $4,082

Based in Clinton, Iowa, Ashford University also has a popular online degree program. Over 77,000 students are enrolled at Ashford, but only slightly more than 1,000 attend classes at the Clinton campus. The online programs are enhanced by the Ashford Mobile app, which lets students keep up-to-date on class work and course discussions from their phone or tablet.

DeVry University

Total Pell Grants Awarded: $204,782,906
Pell Grant Recipients: 61,175
Average Award: $2,664 (among Illinois students)

DeVry University was founded over 80 years ago. Today, the university boasts over 95 locations across the country and an extensive online program. The DeVry Keller Graduate School of Management is one of the college’s most popular programs. In addition, students at DeVry can pursue degrees in fields like health sciences, engineering, media arts and technology.

Pell Grants can be a great way to help pay for your college education if you’re from a low-income family. To learn more about the Federal Pell Grant Program, visit the U.S. Department of Education website.

People Who Read This Article Also Read:

Pell Grant Eligibility
How Pell Grant Will Keep Up with College Enrollment
Federal Pell Grant Basics
President Obama Increases Pell Grant Awards

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