Is the government giving away $6,895 to "Americans who sign up for classes"? Not exactly: Although the federal government does offer Pell Grants worth up to $6,895, that funding is only available to college students whose financial needs make them eligible for the grant.
The claim was implied in a Facebook post on August 18, 2022. The post includes a video and a caption that reads:
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THE GOVERNMENT IS GIVING AWAY $6,895 TO AMERICANS WHO SIGN UP FOR CLASSES!
I just got my approval letter in the mail today, and I'm so excited to no longer be broke...
If you want to get $6,895, tap the Learn More button below.
This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:
(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Wed Aug 24 14:52:04 2022 UTC)
The post does not mention that the funding discussed in the post is Federal Pell Grant funding. The grant is usually awarded to undergraduate students with "exceptional financial need" who have not already earned a college degree or certification, although an exception may be made for a qualifying postbaccalaureate student in a teacher certification program. The amount of funding students can receive varies and can be up to $6,895, but not $6,895 every time. Students who receive Pell Grants are also still expected to pay for classes, not just "sign up."
The link included in the Facebook post is a website called 4Merican Savings Tips that claims "New Government Funded Program Is Giving Americans Up To $6,895* For Signing Up For Classes." Ironically, the asterisk after the $6,895 figure points users to the aforementioned Federal Pell Grant link (linked again here), which makes it clear that the program is not available to all "Americans who sign up for classes." And, while the 4Merican Savings Tips website claims the Federal Pell Grant program is new, the grants have been awarded since 1973.
The federal student aid resource that discusses Pell Grants also links to a resource about federal student aid scams. It warns that students who want to apply for federal student aid must fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid.
Lead Stories previously debunked a claim that U.S. student loans cost the federal government over $60 billion more than those loans bring in during the year. That fact check is here.