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What should I know before I apply for government grants?  

I have an undergraduate degree in marine engineering and I’m preparing to start my graduate studies in one of the top universities. I really need help with finding information on government grants as well as other aspects such as my eligibility for the grant, how to apply, how long will I have to wait before I’m awarded the grant and how will I have to repay. I also wish to know how to access federal student grants as well as how I can apply for government bursaries. Furthermore, I will appreciate a lot if someone can share information on the requirements needed before I apply for a bursary or any student financial aid.

Rodney Fox

in Student Loans

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Ross Pratt on March 6, 2018

Grants refer to those funds and products that are gifted or disbursed by a grant maker which is usually a government agency, corporation, trust or foundation, to mostly nonprofit entities, institutions of learning, an individual or businesses. You should note that all grants are not repayable. However, you can encounter a number of minor expenses that come with the application process. Well, in order for you to receive a government grant, you should sit down and write a grant proposal. This can be done online or through a paper application.

I can see that you intend to use the grant for educational purpose. According to my experience, a grant is usually intended to finance a particular project and demands some degree of reporting and compliance. All grant writing processes will require you to submit a proposal to the government agency you wish to get funds from. Depending on your funding agency, you may or may not be required to have a tax-exempt status of some form. There are some grants that are considered very large and which will require government policy level’s negotiation before you receive the funding. If you intend to apply for smaller grants, you can easily be awarded by your local government (county/municipal/state governments) without too much vetting. Once you have established your grant maker, there are a number of steps you will need to know before you organize yourself to apply. First all, you should determine your eligibility and fit for the grant followed by the establishment of all funding restrictions, due dates and the overall workload needed.

Proposal writing will be involving and it will require a lot of time and effort. You will need to clearly elaborate on your specific problem or area of interest, develop a program which will address your issue appropriately and then comprehensively explain the program to your funder.  If this is your first attempt to apply for a grant from your government, the entire undertaking will greatly benefit you in your subsequent grant applications. Always remember that as you endeavor to submit your application, you should come up with an exceptional proposal which outlines the strategy to tackle your problem.

You can also access a federal student grant the same way you apply for other grants. You will need to design a proposal highlighting and explaining your problem to the concerned agency at the national government. In some cases, the federal government may have devolved departments that are charged with awarding grants to legible students at the state level. To qualify for this type of grant, you will need to have an admission letter or a recommendation letter from your university. You should define your problem sufficiently and let the government understand how you intend to spend the grant once you receive it. Highlight possible positive outcomes that you feel will transform your community once you are done with your studies.

On the other hand, if you need government bursary to supplement what you already have, you should wait for advertisements from your county/state/federal governments. Bursaries and grants alike have deadlines which should be met. After application deadlines are closed, you will have to wait for an average of one month before the results are out.

Eric Bates2 years ago

I totally agree with the above answer regarding government grants and bursaries. In regard to grants, most of them have a threshold of characters or pages required. You should always strive to adhere to the requirements provided by your grant maker. Note that almost all grant programs are highly competitive, and only those applications that are deemed to be the best will be awarded the funding. You should therefore study the evaluation criteria to make sure that you capture all the required details during your application. You can also try checking with the program officials to get acquainted with the criteria and factors considered during the evaluation process.

Also, you should remember that grants are hardly awarded to individuals, and you might be required to register a nonprofit organization to enhance your chances to get the grant. You may consider hiring a professional writer to help you complete your proposal just to make sure it is of required standards. Finally, note that bursaries are always easy to apply and the chances are high that you will be awarded some money if you qualify.


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