Home State Money Federal Money Private Money Low Cost Colleges
Link to Us
The FAFSA application is provided to you by the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) and is ALWAYS free!

Select a Category
Animal Conservation
Arts & Humanities
Child Services
Employment and Labor
Immigration & Refugees
Native Americans
Science & Medical Research
Youth At Risk
How to Apply for Federal Assistance
Writing a Winning Grant Proposal
Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions

How to Apply for Federal Assistance

Getting Started
Grants to Individuals
Beneficiary Eligibility

back to top
Every year, the U.S. Federal Government allocates hundreds of billions of dollars in federal domestic assistance which is made available to State and local governments, federally-recognized Indian tribal governments, public, private, profit and nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and individuals.

Individuals and organizations can use the directory to locate federal assistance programs to procure student loans and get more information on how to refinance student loans, and follow the guidelines below to contact the administering federal agency.

Please note: Applications for federal assistance can not be submitted through this web site. does not provide forms, application packets or advice on applying for specific federal programs. Once you have identified a program of interest, please refer to the 'Information Contacts' section of the program description. The 'contact person' indicated for your selection will be able to provide you with an application kit and further information to proceed with the application process.

back to top
Getting Started

  1. Access the database by choosing a program category from the menu on the left or the 'drop down' menu at the bottom of each page.

  2. Scroll down to view the list of program titles. When you find a program that interests you, check the "Eligibility Requirements" to determine if the program is suitable to your needs as an applicant.

  3. Determine how you will approach the granting agency with an application by considering the following:
    Program Objective:
    How do you intend to use the funds to comply with the granting agency's requirements? Does your project help to further the granting agency's goals?

    Type of Assistance Needed:
    Does the program offer the type of grant, loan, counseling or training you are seeking?

    Eligibility Requirements:
    Do you meet the agency's eligibility requirements? Read the entire program description thoroughly and pay close attention to the "Applicant Eligibility" section. If you have questions, contact the person or office listed in the "Information Contacts" section.

    Application Procedure:
    Follow the steps laid out by the agency for submitting applications. Application procedures will vary from one program to another.

  4. Check for an application deadline.

  5. Call the contact person listed under the "Information Contacts" section of the program description to obtain further information.

    While speaking to the contact person:

  • Ask for an application kit
  • Determine how applicable your project proposal is to the federal program
  • Inquire about the current availability of the funds or assistance
  • Clarify the agency's process for accepting applications
  • Ask any questions you might have

Click here to access our guide on "Writing a Federal Grant Proposal"

back to top
Grants to Individuals

Individuals will find that they are often the ultimate beneficiaries of many grant and loan programs available from the federal government. However, there are a limited number of programs that will actually give the money directly to individuals.

The majority of federal funds are distributed to State and local governments, organizations, and educational institutions, which will then manage and distribute the money to eligible private sector beneficiaries. For example, a VA or FHA loan comes from a financial institution such as a bank, credit union, or mortgage company, not directly from the federal government.

Example A:

Here's another example of federal program that distributes funds to organizations for the benefit of individuals:

84.335 Child Care Access Means Parents in School
$47,000 to educational institutions to provide campus-based child care services.

Example B:

The following are two examples of federal programs that distribute funds directly to individuals:

84.063 Federal Pell Grant Program
$2,057 to financially needy undergraduate students.

84.268 Federal Direct Student Loans
Loans made directly from the federal government
to students and their parents.

back to top
Beneficiary Eligibility

When viewing a federal program description page, an individual should pay close attention to the "Beneficiary Eligibility" sub-section located under the general 'Eligibility Requirements' section. The 'eligible beneficiary' will ultimately reap the reward of a program even if they are not eligible as an applicant (Applicant Eligibility).

For most programs that provide assistance directly from the federal government, the applicant and 'eligible beneficiary' will generally be the same (i.e., educational institutions, organizations, and State or local governments). However, financial assistance that passes through these funding entities will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is ultimately transmitted to private sector beneficiaries (individuals) who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

In other words, unless a federal agency has allocated that funds be awarded directly to the private sector (see Example B above), individuals should apply or inquire with those eligible organizations that have received the funding on their behalf.

Every year, government budgets are set up to distribute all the cash they are allocated. Ordinary individuals and organizations are awarded these funds all the time. This time next year it could be you on the receiving end of this money, and possibly on your way to a new career!

Select a Program Category:

State Money | Federal Money | Private Money | Low Cost Colleges |
Home | How to Apply for Federal Assistance | Writing a Winning Grant Proposal |
Understanding the Federal Program Descriptions