Federal grants are available to qualifying applicants to assist with the cost of higher education, small business startups, housing repairs and more. Each grant program consists of its own eligibility requirements that must be met to receive financial aid. By learning more about the federal government grant opportunities available, you will learn which programs you may qualify for.
Additionally, you can learn more about the assistance amounts you could receive as well as how to apply for financial aid. While there are several different types of grant programs available, below you will find several of the most commonly awarded grants.
What is a federal government grant?
A federal government grant is essentially free money that is awarded to qualifying applicants for a specific purpose. For example, college grants are only meant for college-based expenses, including tuition, book costs and housing expenses.
Federal grants do not generally need to be repaid. However, if you misuse funds that are provided to you or you break the regulations of a grant, your grant may automatically be turned into a loan. Should this happen, you will be required to repay the grant plus any accrued interest.
For example, if you are given a Pell Grant for higher education, you will be required to maintain a certain number of credit hours. Should you fail to do so, you will need to repay the grant amount.
Learn About Federal Grants for College
Federal grants for college are one of the most common types of distributed grants. These grants are available for students who are seeking a higher education and meet the individual requirements of a grant program.
In addition to grant programs, students can take advantage of scholarship programs that may be available to them. While there are several types of college grants, you can view the most common ones below.
Learn About Federal Pell Grants
The most common student federal grant is the Pell Grant. These grants are available to low- and very-low-income students who have not yet earned a bachelor’s, graduate or any other professional degree.
Pell Grant maximum award amounts vary each year. However, the amount that you receive will also be based on several factors, including:
- Your expected family contribution, which is based upon your income.
- The estimated cost of your tuition.
- Whether you are a full-time or part-time student.
- Whether or not you intend to attend school for a full academic year.
You can apply for this federal grant for college by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) form. This form must be completed each year in order to receive financial assistance of any kind, including grants or loans.
Learn About the Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant (SEOG)
The federal SEOG grant is administered directly through participating colleges and universities. Like most grants, SEOG is for low-income students that wish to further their education. SEOG is only awarded to students that present the most financial need.
Generally, this grant will provide between $100 and $4,000 in financial aid each academic year depending on financial need and a school’s funding availability. Schools that participate in this grant program receive a specific amount of funds each year to distribute among students. Since funding is limited, not every student that qualifies will receive a grant.
You can increase your likelihood of gaining an SEOG grant by applying for financial aid as soon as possible and getting in contact with your school’s financial aid office.
Learn About the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant
Another common federal grant for college is the TEACH grant. Unlike other educational grants, the TEACH grant is reserved for students who are seeking specific high-need careers in teaching. Students are also required to:
- Exhibit a financial need.
- Meet academic-based requirements regarding GPAs.
- Attend a participating school.
- Obtain a career in their desired field within a specific time frame following graduation (or cessation of school).
The federal grant department provides up to $4,000 a year to students who qualify for the TEACH grant. To apply for TEACH, you must contact your school’s financial aid office as well as complete your annual FASFA.
Learn About Federal Small Business Grants
There are several federal government grants that your small business may qualify for, especially if your business is a nonprofit or charitable organization. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers financial grants to specific businesses, including those that:
- Are engaged in scientific research and development.
- Are engaged with export development.
- Provide some form of education.
Generally, the Small Business Administration will only provide grant money to state and local governments, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. However, other types of businesses may qualify for assistance from nonprofits, state and local governments.
Additionally, the ADA offers other funding programs, including loans and investment programs, to assist small businesses and startups. If you are in need of financing or grants for your small business, it is essential that you check with your local and state governments as well as meet with an ADA counselor to discuss financing options.
Learn About Federal Grants for Low-Income Households
Other federal grants are designed to assist low-income households with the cost of utilities, weatherization repairs or improvements, necessary repairs and more. Like all grant programs, your household must meet specific qualifications to receive an award.
Learn About the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
LIHEAP is a federal government grant program designed to assist low-income households with the cost of utilities as well as provide financial aid to households that would benefit from weatherization. This form of monetary assistance aids households in avoiding utility shut-offs due to nonpayment.
Each state administers its own LIHEAP program, so eligibility requirements vary by state. However, to qualify for LIHEAP benefits, your household must be considered low-income. Additionally, most states can only provide grants within a specified time frame each year, until funding runs out.
This federal government grant can be obtained up to once annually, so long as your household still qualifies for benefits and funding is available. You will need to contact your local LIHEAP office to apply. In addition to one time grants that are applied directly to applicable utility bills, the program offers emergency assistance when faced with a potential utility shut off as well as funding for small weatherization projects.
Learn About Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Grants
USDA federal grants are offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through the Section 504 Rural Housing Repair and Rehabilitation program. These grants assist very-low-income households that need home repairs or improvements to:
- Remove a safety hazard.
- Remove a health hazard.
- Make the home more disability-accessible.
To qualify, at least one senior citizen must live within the household and each household member must meet citizenship and income-based qualifications. If qualified, Section 504 provides up to $7,500 in financial assistance for approved repairs and improvements.