A citizen of the United States can apply for government grants that are available each year through a variety of federal, state, scholarship and private foundation programs. These government grants are free and you do not need to pay the government back. Government grants are cash donations funded by your tax dollars and can be used to pay the down payment for your home, finance your education, help you start your own business or even pay some of your bills. At present there are about 1,500 federal grants and 24,000 state grants. You do not need to undergo a credit background search, put up a collateral deposit or look for co-signers when you apply for any of the available government grants. There are several agencies handling the grants, though, and each agency has different stipulations that have to be met before your application for a grant can be processed and approved. Check out the tips below.
- You must be eighteen years old and above and a citizen of the United States to be able to apply for a government grant. With the use of electronic communications, it is now easier to lodge in your grant application through the Grants.gov website.
- Find out what grants are available in your field of interest or need. Provide a keyword for your search to view search results. You will be provided with the deadline for application, the type of grant, the agency handling the grant and the Funding Opportunity Number, which you will need when you submit an application with Grants.gov.
- As an individual you need to register to receive a grant on your own behalf and not for someone else or an organization or group. Provide your name, create a user name and password and your individual FON or Funding Opportunity Number and complete the profile form. Once you have completed the form, validated the information that you have supplied and submitted it, you will be registered as an applicant. Wait for the email confirmation that signifies you are allowed to apply for a particular individual grant that you have chosen. You have to make sure that you are qualified to apply for that specific grant. The Grant Funding Opportunity Number can be found when you make a search for grants that are available for individuals. From the right hand navigation panel of the Grants.gov website, click on the "Grants Search" under the "For Applicants" heading, provide a keyword in the search page such as "education" and click the search button. From the search results you can see the FON in the fourth column.
- Check out the website of USA.gov for government benefits, financial aid and grants. There is an alphabetical list of topics that you can view. Take a look at the category where you fall under and read all the information that is available. You may be directed to another government website where you can view more information as well as the requirements before you can apply for a grant. There are downloadable fact sheets with in-depth information for a particular topic. Let us say you clicked on the College Student Loans and Grants. When you click on it you will be taken to the studentaid.ed.gov. Look for the link to the Grant and Loan Program Fact Sheets. Make sure that you look for the information for Grant Programs and view the PDF file that will be provided. This will show you the requirements on how to apply for financial aid to fund your education.
Before you apply for a government grant, make sure that you read all the information that will be provided by any of the government, either federal or state websites. You should also make sure that you understand all the requirements and that you can fulfill all the stipulations that the agency handling the grant requires.