What are the Different Types of Government Grant Funding?

Erin J. Hill

There are many different kinds of government grant funding, each type being used for a different kind of organization, business, or individual need. The most common types involve education funding, non-profit organization funding, small business grants, and science related grants. In order to be eligible to receive grant funds, each person or organization must meet certain requirements set by the government.

Single mothers who meet income requirements may qualify for Pell grants to assist with the cost of college education.
Single mothers who meet income requirements may qualify for Pell grants to assist with the cost of college education.

Education grants are offered to individuals who need help paying for their schooling. This generally refers to college aid, although certain trade schools and apprenticeship programs may also qualify. Students usually are required to fill out a tuition assistance form in order to be eligible for this type of grant, and the amount of money offered is normally based on income. Smaller, localized grants may also be available in certain areas.

Government grants may be given to schools to support art programs.
Government grants may be given to schools to support art programs.

Another type of government grant funding involves monies that are given to non-profit organizations to help with start up costs or the organization’s overall mission. Grants may be rewarded to a specific kind of non-profit, although various types of grants are generally given out every year. To apply for this type of government grant funding, the organization must complete a grant proposal stating why it feels the money should go to it. Professional grant writers may be hired to complete the proposal.

Many government grants are related to education funding.
Many government grants are related to education funding.

Small business government grant funding is sometimes awarded to help with the start-up of a small business venture. Not all businesses qualify, and the money is often given to companies that are involved in an industry the government would like to see expand. As with non-profit funding, small business grants require a proposal to be written and submitted to the correct officials.

Scientific and research grants are another common type of government grant funding. This can include a wide array of sub-categories, but it is primarily used for the research and development of important fields of study. These can include things like disease research, vaccine manufacturing, and various other scientific studies. This type of grant also requires a proposal and often evidence of a study’s validity and proposed use.

Government grant funding is often limited to a specific number of organizations per year, per grant category. This is not generally true of education grants, however, and all students who meet the requirements should receive some amount of funding. Grants do not have to be repaid, but certain criteria must be met and grant proposals must be turned in by deadlines in order for an organization to be eligible.

Qualifying students can use vocational grants to pay for classes that teach them to become skilled laborers.
Qualifying students can use vocational grants to pay for classes that teach them to become skilled laborers.

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Discussion Comments


@Valleyfiah and Framemaker- There are a number of government funding and grant programs that are available for disaster relief. You will probably want to get in touch with your state government about disaster relief. FEMA should be able to give resources on disaster relief at the federal level. I also know that the government gives tax relief for those affected by disaster. I am a college student, and there is a section when I do my taxes that asks if I am, or was, a resident of an area that was deemed a federal disaster zone. The tax credits would probably go a long way to help a student who suffered losses from a natural disaster.


@Framemaker- That is a very good question. I wonder what type of free grants the government gives to people living in a disaster area. Do those poor people get any grant assistance for things like college and businesses to improve the economic outlook of these disaster areas in the future? Places like Louisiana and Mississippi are still reeling from some of the big ones these past few years.


What kinds of government grant opportunities exist for small businesses? Where could a business turn that has been negatively affected by a disaster and needs some type of grant funding to survive? Are there any of these small business safety net programs? If so I would like to learn a little more about them.

My family and friends live in Vermont and I know someone who was impacted by the floods from a recent hurricane. His business has been around for a while, but it was heavily damaged by flooding. He did not have flood insurance. His restaurant had all of the refrigeration units in the basement. The flooding damaged everything in the basement, causing thousands in damage. Any information would be helpful.


@Comparables- Grants.gov is the best resource if you want to apply for government grants. The federal government runs the website, and it lists all government grants. You can also use the government grant portal to apply for any grants you may qualify for. If you are into military or energy research, DARPA and ARPA-E are programs within the department of defense and department of energy respectively that offer grants to businesses and students to perform critical research for the government. You can also look into the DoD and DoE for other grant opportunities, but these are most likely listed on the government grant website I mentioned earlier.


@comparables- You may want to look on the websites of the various governmental organizations if you are looking for science and research grants. I know that the National Science Foundation has a database of various science and technology grants. The NSF also has resources for undergraduate and graduate grant programs.

On the NSF website, you can search different research opportunities, find institutions that have received NSF grant funds, find funding for your research proposals, and find resources on the grant writing process. When I was looking at funding options for graduate school, I used the NSF website for finding funding for school and opportunities for research. The site even has links to apply for the various grants and research funding options you are looking for.


Is there a resource for finding different science and research grants? Is there an online directory of government grant program for science and research? I am an undergraduate engineering student in the first semester of my sophomore year, and I found out that I could work on a research project for my capstone experience. I am also very new to applying for research grants so if someone could give me a few resources or tips on applying for government grants I would appreciate it. I have a few ideas in mind that I think would be good for a research project.


@SZapper - Grants for college are great, if you can manage to be eligible for them. When I was in college I didn't get any help from my parents, but I still wasn't eligible for any financial aid because my mom "made too much."

She was making about $12/hour working as a paralegal and also taking care of my sister at the time. I don't know of any sane person that would think she could pay for a college education.

I really think the government should revise their standards as to who is eligible for these grants. I was able to find a way to go to school, but I know other people in the same situation might not be so lucky.


I think education grants are just wonderful. I have several friends that got to go to college when they otherwise wouldn't have been able to afford it.

I really think college education should be a right in this country. Government grants for college are just a step in the right direction.

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