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Types of Educational Grants

Types of Educational Grants

March 10, 2010



The US Department of Education Funding Opportunities has a billion-budget each year to provide financial aid to states and school districts.  This financial aid is intended to improve both elementary and secondary education through formula-based grant programs.

What are Educational Grants?

Educational grants are meant to meet special needs of students in America; however, educational grants also provide financial support for strengthening teaching and learning in post-secondary institutions.  Educational grants are different from other student financial aids, including formula grants, which are non-competitive awards based on various programs. These institutions including colleges, as well and about $4 billion to support research, rehabilitation, and adult education. 

Who Pays for Educational Grants?

The federal government distributes education grant money to individuals, schools and businesses, and only wealthy companies are required to contribute 5% of their assets to a tax-exempt status, the same of individual with wealthy finances.  In the case of educational grants, students can apply for as many grants as they want, but it is mandatory to use the money for the purpose of the grant: pay for education, although private foundations may allow using part of the money for other purposes.  Money from educational grants never has to be paid back, but this benefit only applies for America citizens. Even then, it is advisable to visit the U.S. Department of Education, where further information on types of grants and programs can be obtained, whether online, or via phone or regular mail.

Who Can Receive Educational Grants?

Any U.S. citizen who pays taxes is eligible for a government grant. When it comes to educational grants, there are two different types:

  • Discretionary Grants:  are set up only by a competitive. Money obtained through this type of grant is not taxable and does not need to be paid back
  • Cooperative Agreements: similar to discretionary, but involve collaboration between the recipient and the department from which the cooperative agreement is awarded

How to Inquire about Educational Grants

After getting the pertaining information, the next step is to contact the program office sponsoring the grant, and fill out an application. The application must include a brief description of whatever educational program or project in which the student will be enrolled, the estimated budget and the date range in which the money will be used.  Not being an ordinary application form, it is more likely that the sponsoring office will provide an application package, including an overview, directions, program regulations, application notice, as well as requirements such as assurances, certifications, etc.  Although applications are sent to the control center, under the Department of Education, the final destination of the form is the Department of Discretion, generally divided into grant teams for better focusing on each applicant's educational needs.

How Long Does it Take to Apply for an Educational Grant?

After rank application by number, those with the highest scores are awarded with an educational grant, after a process that might take from 4 to 6 months. Institutions offering educational grants are required to notify Congress the name of every applicant that is being funded and what state he or she resides.

There are educational directories where students can find the different institutions funding studies, including educational technology grants, educational research grants, cultural affairs grants, K-12 educational grants, grants to earn a traditional or online high school diploma, and many others in the fields of communication, media, dance, literacy, music, post-secondary education, professional development, theater, performing arts, etc.