Each year, thousands of people receive government grants from various programs. In fact, nearly $30 billion dollars in government grant money is distributed on an annual basis. This money helps people achieve their goals without the stress of repaying a loan.
Many government grants are dedicated to providing people with educational opportunities. Some grants require a specific application, while others can be received just by filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). The Pell Grant program is the largest form of educational assistance provided by the federal government, offering funding to nearly one-third of all undergraduate students.
There are no federal government grants to start a small business, but there are state programs that can provide you with the funding you need. There are grants for businesses in rural locations, businesses owned by minorities or other special interest groups, and businesses in specific industries. Most of these small business grants are administered through the state’s economic development agency.
You may also be eligible for a number of government grants that can help you with your housing needs. USDA Rural Development Section 504 grants can provide people in rural areas with money to pay for essential home repairs. The American Dream Downpayment Initiative provides low income families with funding for the downpayment and closing costs associated with the purchase of their first home. Teachers can use the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Teacher Next Door program to finance their home purchase.
When applying for government grants, it is important to read your application instructions carefully. Grant programs can be very competitive, so taking the time to properly prepare your application will increase your chances of receiving funding. Many grants have specific timeframes in which applications are accepted. If a written proposal is required, have someone proofread your submission to avoid grammatical errors and vague language. In some cases, you may also be required to submit a business plan or other supporting documentation with your grant application.
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