What Are Personal Grants?
If you are like many people, then you have probably found that you have many dreams and ambitions that are thwarted by your lack of funding. A common response to this problem is to feel defeated or even guilty. The reason is that we have a misconception in this country that our success should be complete self-gained without help from anyone else. While few would argue that skills and a strong work ethic are required of any person who would like success in this world, it also is true that everyone needs funding. This is the way our economy works. People who are already established can go to major lenders, such as banks, where they can apply for lines of credit. If you are just getting started, however, you may need personal grants.
To begin with, personal grants are offered by the government because it benefits when its citizens are able to prosper. This notion can be easily misunderstood. People who are eligible for grants are not simply living off the government. On the contrary, the reason people are awarded grants is that they have demonstrated that they already have the ambition and necessary skills. All they need is the funding. In this context, government funding takes the place of loans by major lenders. If you follow through with your plans for a government grant, your society will benefit from your success.
Types Of Personal Grants
A personal grant can be defined as a sum of money that is awarded to an individual or organization for a particular use or need; unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid to the issuer. Although the United States government gives away billions of dollars in grant money each year, most of these funds are awarded to businesses, universities, or non-profit organizations. Though they may be few, there are some personal government grants available, particularly for women, minorities, students, or military veterans. The more common federal grants for individuals include:
- Education grants, such as the Pell Grant or Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity (FSEO) Grant, for those in financial need who are seeking to attend a university or college;
- Foster care grants, to assist families with the expense of caring for underage children in the foster care system;
- Rural housing grants, to provide capital financing and housing for farm laborers; and
- Temporary assistance grants, which provide short-term financial assistance to low-income or unemployed parents of children under the age of 19.
How To Apply For Personal Grants
When you are preparing for personal grants, you should also understand that you need to direct your application package. In other words, the government is not giving money to anyone who applies. The government, in this sense, is acting as a financial institution. While it serves a function different from that of a bank and is run under a number of different guidelines, the government’s function at times can be very similar to that of other major financial lenders. In other words, the government is going to want to know that the money it puts into work is going to pay off in some way. The improvement of society and the economy is a worthy return on any investment.
Nevertheless, the key to getting personal grants is to approach the application process in the same way you would any other financial transaction. Begin by getting registered in the government grants database. In all honesty, this should be your very first step. Without first doing this, you may only be able to access limited information that may have an impact on the way you complete the application package. Once you get in the system, you need to find the grants that you plan on applying for. If you are interested in the environment and sustainability, you can check green grants. There are green grants in virtually any field, so you will be able to narrow don’t your search results by subject as well.
Individuals who are interested in personal grants that are more related to quality of life may need only provide some basic information. Examples of these kinds of grants may include grants for education and grants for single mothers. Basically, this is money that is given to people who are at a disadvantage but who have demonstrated skills and ambition. For example, a single mother who must work several different jobs while raising a family might be eligible for a personal grant that can help to ease some of her financial stress. Likewise, a high school student who has a high grade point average but who is at an economic disadvantage may be able to receive a grant for tuition that does not have to be repaid.
One thing to keep in mind when you are looking through personal grants is that there are other alternatives. For obvious reasons, not everyone is eligible for a grant. Some people might be very close, but those on grant committees may unfortunately decide that another person can benefit more from funding. When this is the case, it is advisable to apply for some government funded loans. These can be especially valuable for individuals who can benefit from reduced interest rates that are tightly regulated.
When it comes to applying for personal grants that are more greatly specialized, you can plan on having to provide some more specialized materials. For example, if you are interested in government funding for your small business and you are interested in green building, you need to do a little research about this industry. Find out how your company can use funding. Be as specific as possible. It might be advisable in this context to consult an advisor who has a strong knowledge of a related field. If you are applying for a grant that would fund an art or research project, it’s important that you compose a succinct statement of purpose in which you describe your experience and what you hope to achieve with your government funding.
Apply For Government Grants
Start your application for a free grant package by answering the question below. Non US Citizens are also eligible to apply for grants.
If you visit http://www.benefits.gov/, you will find a great reference site that will provide with all of the links you need to get started. Keep in mind that you need to pay attention to deadlines. Most professionals believe that you should give yourself several weeks prior to the deadline. If you get your application materials in soon enough, you can have it reviewed by a grant representative who can alert you should you be missing any essential components of the package.