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Who Is Eligible for a Grant?

Many groups or organizations are eligible to apply for government grants; however, each individual grant program will have its own requirements for eligibility. Typically, most grantees fall into the following categories:

  • Government Organizations
    • State Governments
    • Local Governments
    • City or Township Governments
    • Special District Governments
    • Native American Tribal Governments (federally recognized)
    • Native American Tribal Governments (other than federally recognized)
  • Educational Organizations
    • Independent School Districts
    • Public and State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
    • Private Institutions of Higher Education
  • Public Housing Organizations
    • Public Housing Authorities
    • Indian Housing Authorities
  • Nonprofit Organizations
    • Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
    • Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
  • For-profit Organizations (other than small businesses)
  • Individuals (such as Pell Grants for needy students)

Some constituents may have seen or heard media advertisements claiming federal grants are available to help them. However, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the nation's consumer protection agency, cautions grantseekers:

Sometimes, it's an ad that claims you will qualify to receive a "free grant" to pay for education costs, home repairs, home business expenses, or unpaid bills. Other times, it's a phone call supposedly from a "government" agency or some other organization with an official sounding name. In either case, the claim is the same: your application for a grant is guaranteed to be accepted, and you'll never have to pay the money back.

The FTC warns that these "money for nothing" grant offers are usually misleading, whether you see them in your local paper, through the internet, or hear about them on television or receive a phone call. Grantseekers should beware of paying "processing fees" for information that is available free to the public. Ads claiming federal grants are available for home repairs, home business, unpaid bills, or other personal expenses are often scams.

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