What Are Some Types of Government Grants Available?

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Government grants are a form of financial assistance that doesn’t result in debt. As long as the grant recipient meets the terms set forth in any grant agreements, the provided funds are given without the need for repayment. As a result, they’re popular programs for anyone looking to address a financial need.

As with many forms of financial assistance, there are multiple kinds of government grants. Usually, each grant type serves a particular purpose, offering financial support to those in specific situations that meet the eligibility criteria. Here’s an overview of some of the types of government grants that are available.

Small Business Grants

Small business grants are financial resources that assist small businesses. Typically, they provide funds to launch a new company, for the development or enhancement of products or services, or to support expansion efforts. Some may alleviate burdens created by various situations, such as economic downturns, as was seen with some of the coronavirus-relief programs.

With small business government grants, they may be offered at the federal, state, or local level. Requirements can vary. For example, some grants target specific demographics or industries, so not all small businesses qualify for those grants. Additionally, competition for grant funds is usually incredibly fierce, as many of the programs have limited funding.

Education Grants

Education grants are programs designed to reduce the cost of education. These typically focus on reducing the burden of expenses related to earning a post-high school certificate or degree. Eligibility requirements vary and may include financial need, planned major, or similar criteria.

Typically, students qualify for federal educational grants based on the results of their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Federal Pell Grants are a widely used example of such programs. However, there are others that provide additional support to students with exceptional financial need, who are the child of a parent or guardian that died due to their military service in Afghanistan or Iraq, or who are interested in becoming a teacher and willing to meet the associated service obligation.

State-based grants and grants offered by non-governmental organizations also exist. Again, the requirements can vary, but for those who receive the funds, they typically work similarly to other types of grants.

Disaster-Relief Grants

Disaster-relief grants provide funds for one of two purposes. Some focus on disaster preparedness, typically offering government entities and communities money to make specific improvements that would limit the impact of a disaster. Second, there are post-disaster grants, which usually focus on helping communities, businesses, or individuals recover from the effects of a disaster.

For most people, the Individual Assistance options through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) are what’s most relevant. There’s also information in the disaster-relief category through the government benefits federally run website, representing a wide array of targeted programs based on the unique needs of people, companies, and more.

Loan-Repayment Grants 

Loan-repayment grants are programs that address the costs of loans that were taken out to pursue specific goals. Many of them focus on the medical community, such as by providing financial relief to handle the cost of education or reducing the financial burden associated with clinical research. However, there are programs that address other areas. For example, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program is functionally a loan-repayment grant.

Loan-repayment grants are highly targeted, and they aren’t available for most types of traditional consumer debt, such as personal credit cards or personal loans. Instead, they more commonly serve as financial incentives for professionals entering select careers or professionals and organizations performing specific tasks, offsetting the cost of pursuing a path that’s viewed as supporting the public good.