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Personal Grants for Individuals

Aparna Iyer Nov 1, 2018
Many people need grants to fulfill even their basic necessities. Such people generally earn less than the stated minimum and government offers several grants to fulfill their needs.
Money may be needed for reasons like wanting to get out of debt or simply for tiding over hard times. Considering that people who are financially constrained find it increasingly difficult to repay loans, it's natural that the demand for personal grants for individuals has caught on in a big way.
Grants from government are for people pursuing higher education and are a good alternative to student loans. The Federal govt. provides aid to State governments and non-profits who use the money to lend financial assistance to women, single mothers, and other eligible participants. However, Federal grants for personal financial assistance is a myth.

Assistance for Individuals and Families

Grants are available to people desirous of pursuing higher education. In addition to college grants, the Federal government provides assistance to low income families, so that they can pay their energy bills on time. It also assists single mothers so that they can provide for the well-being of their children despite being single parents.

College Grants

There are programs available for individuals desirous of pursuing higher education. These grants, viz. Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG), are both need based as well as merit based.
Federal Pell Grant is a need based grant that acts as the stepping stone to both need and merit based assistance. This is evident from the fact that Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG) gives priority to Federal Pell Grant recipients, although other applicants, who are in dire need of money, are also eligible to apply.

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)

LIHEAP is a grant program that is Federally funded and is implemented at the state, tribal, and insular area levels. This program intends to help people pay their home energy bills. The govt. provides home heating energy assistance aid and crisis aid to a family of four, provided the annual household income is less than the stated minimum.
Generally, an annual household income less than $36,900 makes a family (4 members) eligible for this assistance. As mentioned, it is a grant and not a loan, hence no liens will be placed on the recipient's property. Families that spend a chunk of their income on energy bills and low income families with children, disabled, and elderly people get priority.

WIC Program

Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program provides Federal grants to States so that pregnant or postpartum women and infants, children up to age 5, can receive checks or food coupons to buy foods rich in nutrients like protein, iron, calcium, vitamins A and C. Woman, with gross income below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are eligible for this program.

Temporary Assistance To Needy Families or TANF Grant

Administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services' Administration for Children and Families, TANF block grant allows States to allocate resources for the following activities:
  • Helping needy families so that children can be taken care of in the comfort of their home
  • Promoting work to minimize the dependence of families on benefits
  • Encouraging marriage and reducing the incidence of non-marital pregnancies
  • Encouraging the maintenance of two parent families
People constrained due to lack of finances, may consider availing personal loans or personal lines of credit. A number of private entities and non-profits provide such grants for single mothers. It would be prudent to gather information about private disburser and present a well drafted application, so as to put forth one's case effectively.