Private foundations and government agencies often award grants only to nonprofit organizations or municipalities. Individuals can find grant funding to achieve specific goals, such as college degrees, artistic projects, emergency housing and home improvements that address safety issues. While select grant programs for individuals base awards on merit or achievements, eligibility can include income or age limits. Individuals searching for grants can find programs at the Foundation Center website or the Grants website, operated by the U.S. government.
U.S. Department of Education
The U.S. Department of Education provides educational grants for college students, including the Federal Pell Grant and Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (FSEOG). Both the FSEOG and Pell grant provide funding for low-income students to attend private or public colleges or universities. As of December 2010, the Pell grant program pays up to $5,500 per year, which students can use to attend over 5,000 participating institutions. The Pell grant and FSEOG programs base award amounts on family contributions to education, cost of school tuition and assets and income of students and their parents. Students can apply for federal educational grants at the U.S. Department of Education website or the Student Aid on the Web website.
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) awards grants to individual artists working in design, music, performing arts and visual arts. The NEA Literature Fellowship awards recipients up to $25,000 for writing poetry and prose. The intention of the grant is to enable recipients to take the time necessary for research, writing or travel needed to complete their literary work. The NEA bases awards on artistic merit and excellence. An advisory panel reviews applications and determines all recipient awards. The NEA accepts submission of applications on the federal government's Grants website.
U.S. Department of Agriculture
The U.S. Department of Agriculture offers grant and loan funding through the Rural Repair and Rehabilitation Loans and Grants program for low-income individuals living in rural areas to make home improvements. Applicants must own and occupy single family homes, be over the age of 62 and have incomes below 50 percent of their community's median income. Recipients can only use funds to make improvements or repairs related to safety and health hazards or sanitary conditions. The program provides a maximum of $20,000 for loans and a maximum of $7,500 for grants. Grant recipients must retain ownership of the home for at least three years or face repayment requirements. Individuals interested in applying for rehabilitation grants can contact their local U.S. Department of Agriculture rural development office.
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides grants for individuals faced with emergency housing needs. The Shelter Plus Care Program awards grants to homeless people with disabilities. The intent of the program is to provide long-term housing and support services, with a priority placed on people with mental illness, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and chronic drug and alcohol problems. Disabled individuals seeking assistance can contact their local HUD office.