What Are Grants
Education Law

What Are Grants? Know All About Them!

| December 6, 2023 | Last Updated on: December 17, 2023

Are you a student looking to get a degree in the United States? Moreover, are you finding it a bit too expensive? Are you looking for means or grants specifically to fund your research?

Honestly, education has become so expensive that most students belonging to the mid or low-income group would rather take out an education/student loan than pay for college out of their own pockets. However, if you are a student looking for financial assistance, I am sure you have heard of scholarships and grants.

So, What Are Grants?

A grant is a financial award or assistance provided by any institution, government, private agency, or any other organization to a person for a specific purpose. These are financial aids that help to achieve specific goals. For instance, let’s assume that there is something we commonly know as the Apollo Grant. It is for to students who want to pursue doctoral research in Astronomy at New York University. So, this is a specific grant that goes for a specific purpose. Quite like scholarships, in order to get a grand, you will need to fit certain criteria that the granter has set.

If you are Googling “What are grants?” you should know that the financial assistance the government gives through a grant need not be paid back, unlike student loans.

Now let us see “what are grants” according to the United States Government.

“Is used to enter into a relationship the principal purpose of which is to transfer anything of value from the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity to the non-Federal entity to carry out a public purpose authorized by a law of the United States (see 31 U.S.C. 6101(3)); and not to acquire property or services for the Federal awarding agency or pass-through entity’s direct benefit or use.”

A Grant Is Different From A Scholarship

A scholarship is also financial assistance that goes to a person to support their education. These are, however, not given to achieve a specific purpose. Scholarships are for to students who have excellent academic credentials, athletic achievements, displayed exceptional leadership, extracurricular qualities, or any other thing that makes them stand out from the other students.

How Do Grants Differ From Student Loans?

What are grants, and how are they better than student loans? Well, not exactly better, but you do have to pay off student loans later on with interest! That is not the case with student grants. They serve the sole purpose of financial aid. There is no requirement to pay back grants after you get a job or the purpose.

What Are Pell Grants?

A Pell Grant is financial assistance from the government of the U.S. to students who need monetary backup to pay for college. It is to help out those students who haven’t finished their first bachelor’s degree yet. However, the Grant also helps those who have already graduated. The government gives grants through certain colleges.

History Of The Pell Grant

The Pell Grant used to be called the Basic Educational Opportunity Grant, but in 1980 it was changed to Pell Grant to honor a U.S. Senator named Claiborne Pell. A Pell Grant

The government can decide the amount to be granted to a student based on how much they need it. If you want to apply for the Pell Grant, you will have to fill out a form called the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Pell Grants were started by the Higher Education Act of 1965. About 5.4 million students throughout the United States use Pell Grants to go to college or vocational schools. The grant is available at around 5,400 colleges.

This Grant has been in high demand ever since President Joe Biden declared that Pell Grant recipients could have up to $20,000 of the waiver on their student loans.

What Are Categorical Grants?

Categorical grants are how the United States in government helps the state and local governments to fund grants for a specific purpose. If you are searching for “what are grants,” you must definitely know about categorical grants as well. These are given for a specific purpose, and this amount can only be used for that purpose. A Categorical Grant is given for a particular project based on what is the requirement for it.

It is up to the state whether or not they want to accept these grants. However, if they do, they must follow the rules laid down by the federal government.

What Are The Various Types Of Categorical Grants?

According to the power granted to the Federal government by the constitution of the United States, it can do specific things in States. All other aspects are for the state to decide. However, Congress of the nation aims to do what is best for the nation, even if it is not the law. This is why categorical grants are given by the Federal government to fund certain projects that they want to be done.

Types of categorical grants can include the following.

There Is Project Grant Funding For Specific Projects

Multiple people or groups can apply for this money, and the best ones get the grant.

The Formula Grant Funding Is For Ongoing Programs

These serve a specific purpose, for specific groups, like kids with disabilities. It best serves a certain part of the population or numbers. Any group that meets the requirements can get the money.

Block Grant Funding- Now What Are Block Grants?

This money is for greater purposes or goals, education or safety. The winners can use it in different ways to do what they need to meet that goal.

Final Word

Grants are very important in supporting a wide range of social initiatives as well. They help in the ring protection of environment education and also support individuals with disabilities. Many grants also help in disaster relief by establishing schools, supportive Day Care systems, STEM cell research, after-school care programs, health care services for the ones in need, and so much more.

The answer to “What are Grants?” is completely dynamic and not exhaustive in nature. Funding obtained through grants can contribute to the development and growth of communities.

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Debkanya Bhattacharya
Debkanya Bhattacharya

Debkanya is a lawyer turned writer. With an experience of 3 years, she is your go-to source for all things law. She has a soft corner for the US and international section. When the weekend arrives, you'll find her reading up on politics, Austen, or travel blogs over a cup of coffee.


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