$2.6B in free college money went unclaimed by 2018 grads

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WILX High school graduates who didn’t complete a federal financial aid application missed their opportunity for part of $2.6 billion in free money for college.

That's according to the annual analysis of federal financial aid data by NerdWallet.

High school graduates who didn’t complete a federal financial aid application missed their opportunity for part of $2.6 billion in free money for college,

The average Pell Grant was $3,908 for the 2018-19 school year, NerdWallet found.

Pell Grants are awarded to students from lower-income families. The amount awarded is based on the cost of attendance at a student’s school and information provided through the FAFSA, including a family’s financial need. Students can receive a Pell Grant for up to 12 semesters, or about six years, but they must submit an application each year to qualify.

The total Pell Grant money awarded to college students for 2018-19 was $27.5 billion, which was distributed to over 7 million students.

Among 2018 graduates, more than half were eligible for a Pell Grant, according to federal financial aid data from the Florida College Access Network.