The federal government isn't the only place where you should look for grants. U.S. states also have grant programs available for their residents. Texas does it big and provides more grants than many other states.
Texas has also done an excellent job promoting their state grants. They make it as easy as possible to find Texas Grants for a very wide range of purposes.
If you are interested in college loans, Texas has a special program called “College for all Texans;” in the next section this article shows you how to find out if you are eligible and how to apply. Check it out now if you live in Texas and are interested in getting help going to college.
If you are an individual or an organization seeking funds for a program related to topics as wide-ranging as health services, business, agriculture, housing, criminal justice or faith-based activities (to name just a few!), there is a website that makes it easy to search for a currently available grant. If you wish to fund a program in the humanities, often the hardest type of grant to find, there is even a Texas organization dedicated to helping you find a grant.
Discover your program today!
The TEXAS program (an acronym which stands for “Toward Excellence, Access and Success) was created to support qualified graduates of high school who need financial assistance to continue their education in college. It is a very attractive program in that the limits to the award amounts are considerably higher than federal Pell Grants, but you don’t have to apply separately for the TEXAS program awards — you apply when you fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid(FAFSA). Once that is done it is up to the individual financial aid office at each school to figure out and advise you if the TEXAS Grant will be included in the financial assistance you may receive. At the moment the highest award offered is $7400 per year (lower for community and technical college students).
Are you eligible? There are quite a few eligibility requirements, first of which is that you be a resident of Texas. In addition you must have no felony conviction and no record of a crime involving a controlled substance. You also have to demonstrate financial need, which is accomplished in the standard calculation done in the FAFSA process. You must be a Texas high school graduate and you must maintain satisfactory performance while in college in order to continue receiving aid. Considerable detail regarding eligibility is provided on the collegefortexans website.
Texas is to be admired for the fact that it is committed to making its rants process totally transparent. All agencies which receive grants of more than $25,000 must list that grant on its website. And the main Txas Grants website offers links to each of these agencies. So it's easy to go to an agency website and see what grants it as received.
Here again Texas has one of the most extensive and clearly explained grants for homes that we have seen. The Texas State Affordable Housing Corporation (TSAHC) offers grants to those buying a house (whether it’s the first time or not). They offer fixed rate mortgage loans, help with coming up with your down payment, and mortgage tax credits among other options. They also have special programs for police officers, teachers, fire fighters, EMS workers, veterans and correctional officers (the “Texas Heroes” program). They even offer support options for those looking for affordable rentals, particularly in the Austin area. Their online access to information and determining your eligibility for these programs is excellent.
Many Texas families are not aware that medical grants are available to help pay for various treatments for children. These grants are awarded by the United Healthcare Children’s Foundation (UHCCF). They help families with private health insurance who still can’t afford some of their out-of-pocket expenses like co-payments or deductibles. This is especially probably for kids who have a chronic illness or perhaps need some major (and expensive) surgery. Awareness of these grants appears to be low in Texas as not many families applied for them in 2015. UHCCF is working to raise awareness because there is money available to help these families! To be eligible you must already have commercial/private insurance. If your family is non Medicare or Medicaid you are also eligible.
January 2017 Update Want to get a local program going to promote or conduct activities like reading or book discussion groups, invite an author to come and talk, start a book club or other similar activities? You might be able to get your local library a grant to cover expenses for the above, including some personnel, supplies, equipment and other eligible expenses. The Texas Reads program makes it possible. Its goal is to provide people in the state with effective library services that support early learning, school success and a lifetime of learning. The maximum award is $5000 and it will apply for the state’s fiscal year with runs from September 2017 to August 2018. No cost sharing or matching funds are required! Applications are due March 6, 2017 so act now!
The Austin Film Society makes grants each year to producers of film an video projects. Over the past nine years they have awarded more than $1.6 million to more than 400 such projects. Awards are typically in the amount of $10,000. The Film Society even makes some Travel Grant Awards that allow producers to travel to important film festivals around the world! So if you have a film or video project you have a passion to make, Texas is the place to be! Applications close in June so if you're too late this year, check it out and get ready to apply next year! And check back in here for news about film and video grants.
Humanities Texas is a non-profit organization which is affiliated with the National Endowment for the Arts. It provides grants to support a myriad of public programs related to education, literacy, movies, tv & radio in any part of a project or program. They will also fund activities like discussion groups about books or movies, educational lectures and seminars and local forums and sessions related to civic topics. They provide “mini-grants” throughout the year (to fund things like hiring a guest speaker or paying for a traveling exhibit). Applications for these smaller grants are accepted throughout the year; larger grants are awarded just twice per year, with application deadlines of March 15 and September 15. Humanities Texas encourages applicants to contact them before preparing their application. They also provide on their website a number of useful materials that guide grant seekers in terms of what is needed to submit a successful application. These materials include examples of “model” applications for mini-grants, budgets (both detailed and a budget summary), and a review of how they make their decisions regarding funding.
Since 2009 the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas has given close to $1.5 billion in grants in Texas. These grants have gone to researchers, organization and institutions. In February of 2016 they announced awards of six grants in their academic research program. The awards totaled $26 million for the purpose of recruiting specific outstanding cancer scientists to several colleges and university institutions. Interestingly the individuals recruited were from other parts of the country – so its possible to receive a grant in Texas even if you don't live there.
For those looking for other types of grants, Texas has created the eGrants website that allows grant seekers to search for currently available, competitive funding opportunities. Of course you can go directly to individual state agencies to see what they are offering, but this website saves you time by consolidating information across agencies and other grant-making state entities. It may also help you find a grant opportunity at an agency you would not have thought to investigate.
The search site walks you through several categories of questions before providing its results. You are asked to specify any or all of the following:
- A specific agency in which you are interested
- A particular geographic area of interest, from the whole state to a specific zip code;
- The category that you fall into as a seeker – e.g., are you a small business, a non-profit, a school, etc.
- Your area of interest for the grant such as Science, Public Safety, Healthcare, etc.
- The sort of assistance you are looking for: financial, technical, and so on.
For results you can see current opportunities and/or those that have already closed but might give you a good idea of the types of funding that may be available again.
If you are lucky enough to live in the great state of Texas, give it a go and check out these resources. Especially if you are interested in the Humanities, there is a deadline coming up Sept. 15 at Humanities Texas. If you need a great guide to preparing winning foundations quickly, check out our review of a system that shows you how to win foundation grants fast!