The federal government gives it directly to the school to pay your tuition fee off. If there is an excess amount left over after the tuition is paid, some schools will refund you the money. The date of the refund depends on the school itself, and I recommend checking with the college's financial aid office for more information on that. To optimize your financial aid package, I recommend applying either in January or early February because it is before the school hands out its need based scholarships.
If you meet all the schools requirements (and they didn't award it to you in error as you feared in your earlier question), the money is sent to the school. The school will deduct all tuition, fees, book charges, dorm and such and issue you a check if there is any money left over. This process will be repeated again in the spring. I read your earlier post, I'm going to answer it. It's just a little more complicated.
After you Accept the Pell Grant, which is based on need (determined when your fill out your FAFSA), the Financial Aid Office receives the money and credits it to your bill. You may wish to contact the Financial Aid / Bursar's Office to see how refunds (if offered) are issued. Each school has a different policy regarding extra Financial Aid.
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