Friday

Government Grants - Free Money?


Are you a student, or a business owner, or maybe a single-mom that could use some extra money?   Students need money for tuition.  Business owners sometimes need money to help implement new plans.  Maybe you are an entrepreneur with an idea for a new business but can't get funding.

Did you know that you can apply for free grant money from various government agencies? But where exactly does this money come from? It all begins with what Congress allocates every year for funding of various programs. This runs into billions of dollars and they are for projects that will benefit the community. In fact, education itself sees over $67 billion being allocated to it every year.

How free is free would be the question. This free money does necessitate spending time, effort and money in order to avail of it. For one thing, organizations or individuals will have to pay special people either by way of employing them or hiring them in order to make the applications watertight and eligible.

If you have a great application and all your papers are in order and you do get the free grant, you need to administer the spending with an eagle eye. Or pay someone to do it.

Free grant money means responsibilities, obligations and consequences.

If certain criteria are not adhered to, you could face stiff penalties, including a jail term. Remember that this is public money so it has to be used with care and prudence. The money is given to you to accomplish certain tasks for the community and you will have to abide by your proposals and time schedules.

The President launched a new web site recently - http://GovBenefits.gov. You could go and see how and where you can get free funding. There is extensive and valuable information that you can find here.

The government gives free grants to entrepreneurs too. This could be to open a new business or to improve an existing one.

States like New Hampshire, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska and Utah have free small business grants programs. You could visit their web sites and take a look at what they offer.

Other states may not offer free grants, but they do have technical training and financing programs available for small businesses through the SBA or Small Business Administration program.

Yet another place where you could get information about how to get free grant money is at the CFDA or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance web site - http://www.cfda.gov/. This site is a treasure trove of information about Congress-approved funds and how to apply for them.

However, you need to be well-clued in to the whole grant application process so you can understand all the entries in the program. If you are not, you might see your application rejected just because of that.

Students, of course, can go to the FAFSA site (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) which can be found at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/. FAFSA saw 6 million students get free funding in previous years. Be well prepared with your documents and make sure you go through the process with great care.

Yes, free grant money is available, but not served up to you on a platter. It involves a lot of hard work and could be a grueling, lengthy process that is well worth the effort if you manage to get one of the many coveted grants.

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