Grants for Women
What are Government Grants for Women?
Government grants for women are financial amounts provided to women for a specific purpose. Grants are not funds given for living expenses. Benefits like welfare and food stamp programs cover those. Grants focus on providing funding for a specific public purpose. Education grants go towards funding postsecondary education. Housing grants go towards rehabilitating housing in very particular circumstances. Some grants come in the form of fellowships awarded in specific academic fields. The fact is that many grant programs do not allow individuals to apply. Most government grants go to public agencies, non-profits, and businesses.
Benefits programs are available to help women with basic living expenses such as food, shelter, and medical care. These are very different from government grants for women. Benefit programs are there to protect women and their families. The grant programs focus on giving an individual the opportunity to improve a part of their lives. Education grants are a large part of that focus. With grants, many women have had the chance to improve their career options and bring higher incomes. This allows them to improve their living conditions and make the lives of their families a bit easier.
Government grants for women in the area of education are quite common. Most of these grant programs are needs based. Those at the lower end of the income scale are eligible for far more grants than those at the higher end of that scale are. The more common grants available in this area are the Pell Grant and the FSEOG, or Federal Supplemental Education Opportunity Grant. Some grants combine economic need with academic achievement. The National SMART Grant is there to help those majoring in science, math, and certain technological fields. The Academic Competitiveness Grant provides grant money to women in their first or second year of college if they meet certain academic standards.
Housing grants are not common in government grants for women. In fact, almost no housing grant programs are available directly to individuals. For those interested in a housing grant program, you need to work with a non-profit or public housing agency that receives one of those grants from the federal government. The non-profit or housing agency screens potential applicants to make sure they meet certain criteria put forward by the federal agency offering the housing grant. These grants can help homeowners retrofit their home or make an older home safe and habitable.
Who can apply? Eligibility Requirements
Most government grants for women come in the form of education grants. These grants focus on providing funds to cover college costs. The first step in receiving any education grants from the government requires the student to fill out the FAFSA. This is the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. This application gathers pertinent financial information on the student and family. That, combined with the tuition requirements of the school, helps determine what the expected family contribution amount is. That sum is what the government thinks the woman needs to provide towards her education costs. The lower that amount, the more likely the woman is eligible for educational grants.
Some grants focus solely on financial need. This includes the Pell Grant, the most common grant offered through federal student financial aid packages. If the woman finds that she qualifies for the Pell Grant, she may qualify for other grants as well. The FSEOG grant is for individuals who come from very low-income families. In order to qualify, the family must meet Pell Grant standards and have almost no expected family contribution amount. These two grant programs are available to everyone without academic strings attached.
Other grants come based on financial need, with academic requirements additional. These include the Academic Competitiveness Grant and the National SMART Grant. Individuals who receive those grants also qualify for the Pell Grant program. The ACG requires the woman to be in the first or second year of college and maintain a minimum grade point average. The National SMART Grant is for individuals in their third or fourth year who major in specific technical, scientific, or mathematical fields and hole a minimum GPA. Other grants are not needs based. For example, the TEACH Grant requires the student to agree to teach low-income students in certain high-need academic areas.
How to apply for Government Grants for Women?
For educational government grants for women, the first requirement is always going to be filling out the FAFSA. The FAFSA brings together information on the woman, her financial situation, her family situation, and her academic pursuits. This information goes into a standard formula to calculate the expected family contribution amount. Now, each university has a different level of annual tuition a student can expect to pay in a given year. In order to calculate the total financial aid package available to the student, the expected family contribution goes into a formula containing the tuition and other educational costs. That figures out how much financial aid for which the student qualifies.
For low-income individuals, the amount of educational government grants for women can actually be significant. The maximum award amount for the Pell is $5,500 per year. The FSEOG can contribute up to $4,000 as well. However, most financial aid packages still require additional funding options. The package can include scholarships, student loans, and grants from other sources besides the federal government. The total financial aid package will provide funding options to cover the cost of tuition and additional educational expenses.
Most schools do not award the full grant amounts at the beginning of the year. They will pay a portion of that for each academic term the student attends the school. So, if a school typically has two semester sin a year, they will divide the payment in two portions. Educational grants cover a single year of school. Each year the student must go through the FAFSA process again to evaluate the amount of aid available for the next year. This allows the Department of Education to see the current financial situation and evaluate if more or less financial aid is appropriate for the situation.
For more information on these government grants for women, please visit the following websites:
Grant Application Guides and Resources
It is always free to apply for government grants. However the process may be very complex depending on the funding opportunity you are applying for. Below are some of the published guides that have been helpful to past recipients: