The only way to get a grant, of course, is to apply for one, and the application process will differ depending on the type of grant you're trying to get. However, the first step is always the same. Before you apply for a grant, it's up to you to make sure you qualify. Find out what the requirements are, and make sure you fit them. If you don't, you'll just end up wasting your time, and as a single parent, you probably don't have a whole lot of time to waste.
For most grants, you'll be able to download an application packet online. If you use Grants.gov, you'll need to download a free program called PureEdge Viewer to complete the application process. This software will allow you to do the entire application online. Once you've downloaded the necessary grant application packet, make sure you read the directions thoroughly. You don't want to miss a step. One feature users may find helpful is that PureEdge Viewer won't let you submit your application unless you've filled out all of the necessary fields [source: Office of University Partnerships]. That doesn't mean, however, that it checks your answers as you go. It's up to you to fill out everything properly.
Private grants may have a slightly different application process than federal ones. Sometimes it'll be as easy as filling out a form. Other times it may involve writing an essay or providing proof of your income [source: Grants.gov]. The application process can be frustrating at times, but remember that these grants were created to help people like you. The payoff is almost always worth it, and perseverance is very often the key to success. Always double check your applications. You may even want someone else to look them over before you submit anything.
For lots more information on grants that are available to single parents, see the links on the next page.