Federal grants are money or financial assistance awarded and authorized by the United State government to different non-profit organizations. Its intention is to expand, improve the quality and strengthen the public service being rendered by these organizations, agencies and local government units.
What’s clear about federal grants is that it is not used to acquire or pay for property and service. Unlike loans, grant recipients would not be paying back the grant but they are required to submit complete audits of the grant money and return the unspent amount to the agency that rewarded the grant.
Federal grants are economic aids that the United States government provide to its institutions, agencies, organizations and people. But aside from grants there are also other economic aids that the government offer to its citizens.
The Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance or CFDA has the listings of differed benefit programs that can help those in need. Benefits assistance and programs listed in CFDA caters to state and local governments, federally- recognized Indian tribal governments, private profit and non-profit organizations and institutions, specialized groups and also for individuals.
Here re some types of federal benefit programs that the government offer to individuals and organizations in need:
• Loans – these are financial assistance where money is lent to the person who is need for a specific period of time and how much would be paid back. It may or may not incur interest.
• Insurances – these are financial assistance that can reimburse losses that was sustained in different reasons like accidents.
• Use of Property, Facilities and Equipment – federal facilities or property can be used on a loan. But it is clear the property or the facility does not remain as property of the recipient of the assistance.
• Advisory Services and Counseling – with this federal assistance, you get to have a federal specialist that you can consult with, seek advise from, or invited to counsel individuals, groups or communities.
• Dissemination of Technical Information – these federal programs provides assistance with the publication and information dissemination about certain issues. This is commonly provided or used through libraries.
• Training – this is a common financial and economic assistance. Employees or individuals who are not employed by the Federal agency are given instructional or educational activities and seminars.
Students also receive different kinds of financial assistance. College could really be very expensive and financially difficult to deal with especially if the student comes from a low-income earning family. Federal grants are given to students and you do not have to pay them back. The student just need to qualify or meet the standards of the federak agency granting the aid. College students are also offered with the following kinds of assistance from the government:
• Loans – there are different ways on how students can apply for loans, it can be government or private loans. Government loans offered through the school’s counselling office can be enough to cover tuition, housing and other expenses. The loans that you would have will be determined by the income bracket the student is in. Compared with private loans, like the one from the bank, government loans are more reasonable with their terms and rates.
• Scholarships – like grants, you do not have to pay them back. But financial need is not the only basis of getting the aid, academic and scholarly merit are also bases of getting the assistance. Almost all school offer scholarship, students just need to coordinate with the school counselling or assistance office to inquire about scholarships offered.
With the economic crisis still continuing to create havoc in people’s lives, more and more Americans tend to sacrifice education, health, house renovations and other needs just to get by. But these federal grants and assistance programs are there to provide assistance and we should take advantage of it.