Looking for some extra money? What if you could fund a business idea, conduct research, start your own non-profit, or go to college? Then applying for a government grant may be the next step for you!
Read ahead to see what government grants are and how they could help you!
What Are Government Grants?
A grant is money given to someone (or a business) to fund a certain project. Most grants go to people who have businesses or project ideas. These business ideas revolve around research projects, charities, non-profits, or other government projects.
Grant money does not have to be repaid (unlike loans). The only time you may have to repay grant money is if you don’t follow all of the obligations of the grant. For example, if you get a government grant to go to a college. You must use that money only for college expenses. If you use it for other things, they may force you to pay the money back.
Grant money is another form of financial assistance.
There are a lot of different kinds of grants you can apply for. Some have specific requirements while others can be more general. A grant can come from anyone who is willing to give out their money.
There are plenty of grants that felons can apply for. If you are looking to go to college and need some extra cash a government grant could be a great option for you.
The most popular government grants go towards getting a college degree.
The government gives grants out as a way of helping support the economy and its’ people. Government grants are helpful because you can receive a lot of money to go to college or for an idea. You can get money that you wouldn’t be able to find elsewhere (like from banks or investors). These grants also help the government. The government will benefit from your ideas if they help yourself or the general public.
Government grants for felons are particularly useful. It can be hard to find money from other places. These grants make it possible for felons to do the things they want. That’s why it is so important to learn about grants and how to use them for your benefit.
What Can You Do With Government Grants?
Most of the grant money goes to research projects and education. It depends on which government agency is giving the money.
Every government agency has its own interests that it will fund. The Department of State will give money to people who are working with other countries. Think about companies planning mission trips or outreach programs abroad.
The Department of Defense will give money for research on military technologies. The Department of Agriculture gives money to help stop the spread of forest fires.
There are also a lot of grants for getting a college education.
All grants have specific requirements you must meet before you can apply. You are not going to be eligible for all grants.
It is important to know exactly what you need money for. This will make it easier when searching for grants.
An important thing to remember about grants is that you don’t have to repay them. Grants are financial assistance. As long as you use the money correctly, you don’t have to pay anyone back!
This is a great alternative for taking out student loans. With student loans you could graduate college with debt, like most students do.
How to Apply for Grants
The grant application process can be a bit tricky, so we are going to walk you through the process here. You can find more detailed instructions at grants.gov, and look under the “Learn Grants” tab. But we will summarize the process here.
There are three main stages when applying for a grant: pre-award phase, award phase, and the post-award phase.
Here, government agencies will post their grant opportunities to the website. You can find all government and non-government grants on grants.gov. On the website, you are able to search for all kinds of grants.
The grant opportunities will list who is eligible and ineligible to apply. You can check there to see if people with felonies can apply.
To apply for grants, you have to have an online account with grants.gov, SAM.gov, and DUNS. These three websites are where you fill out your applications.
But first, you must make an account online and get it approved.
The instructions on how to complete this are on the grants.gov website. It can take 1-3 weeks to get an account finalized and approved. You will want to start as soon as possible so you don’t miss any deadlines.
Once you have a finalized account, you are ready to start applying for grants.
Find the specific grant you are looking for and take a look at the “opportunity package.” The opportunity package is a complete set of requirements and instructions. Follow them to file a complete application.
Every grant will have one that you can access.
You may have to write essays or submit certain paperwork for some grants. Follow the instructions online and in the opportunity package. They will walk you through it.
Once you complete your application, submit it. The agency that posted the grant will then review it. There are many steps to that review process.
First, agencies will make sure that your application is complete, make sure that you answered all the questions and submitted all necessary paperwork.
This process is the “initial screening”.
Your application will get rejected if you forget to submit documents.
Next the members of the agency will get together and take a look at each applicant in more detail. This is where the quality of your application matters. The agency may have one person reviewing all the applications. They can also have a group of people come together and grade each applicant.
There isn’t anything you can do at this point except wait.
Take extra time when filling out your application. Answer all questions to the best of your ability. Write out essays and make sure they are correct.
The agencies will send out a notice to the people who have won. You will receive a notice (sometimes called a Notice of Award). You then have the option to accept or reject it. Once you accept it though, you are legally obligated to carry out the requirements of this grant.
The requirements will depend on the grant. If you got a grant for college, you will have to take a certain number of classes. They may also require you to make certain grades in each class. Make sure you understand all the requirements before applying.
After you receive the money, your job is to do what you said you would do. If you have an educational grant, then you must use it to go to school and meet any requirements it may have on achieving a certain level of grades.
The agency who made the grant can ask you to submit progress reports. They can also ask you to submit updates during school. The money you spend is also tracked and recorded to make sure that all goes where it should.
At the end of the award you will complete a “closeout.” The closeout is like a final report of your progress. It will include all the details of your experience along with financial reports. The agency that gave you the money has to confirm the report. This proves that you did everything you needed to do. It also frees you of any legal obligation associated with the grant.
All Summed Up
The process for getting grants can seem challenging and long. The hardest part is finding a grant and applying for it.
Government grants are a great opportunity to achieve your educational or business goals.
Government grants make it easy to get money when normally finding money would be hard to do.
Take the time to do some research on grants and figure out which ones best suit your needs. Apply to the grants and make sure your application looks as good as possible.
Don’t get discouraged if you get rejected. You may have to apply for many grants or the same grant many times. The rewards are worth it in the end when you can get your college degree (or business money).
Most importantly, be prepared to follow through with the specified requirements of the grant.