This page contains answers to the commonly asked grant questions. If your question is not answered on this page, please contact the ECTC Division of Grants and Sponsored Projects and we will be happy to help you.
Q. What is a grant?
A grant is funding that is awarded by an agency (government, corporation, foundation, etc.) to carry out a project that meets a specific goal. It is awarded under contract and carries requirements related to the performance and timeliness of the project and reporting of results. The contract/award is a legal binding document.
Q. What is a grant not?
A grant is not any of the following: free money; a source of revenue to cover ongoing general operating costs; traditional fundraising; easy to develop, write, or administer; written overnight; or guaranteed if you apply.
Q. What is the current climate in grant funding?
According to a report from the American Association of Community Colleges, in December 2014, Congress approved the same level of funding in 2015 for many of the major grant-funding programs through the Department of Education, Department of Labor, and National Science Foundation. Some programs within those departments saw increases, while other grant programs were cut or reduced, but overall, federal funding for grant programs is largely the same.
While community colleges did not see specific budget cuts in FY 2015, tighter budgets in higher education across the board mean increased competition for grants.
More competition means stricter guidelines and heightened emphasis on results for grant-funded projects; proposed projects must show promise that they will make an impact and be replicable at other institutions.
Q. Who awards grants?
Federal government agencies and departments (such as the Department of Education), state agencies, foundations, and corporations
Q. Why do agencies award grants?
Entities award grants to advance their mission, their purpose, and their goals. Awarding grants may also be required as their mission and plans.
Q. Why should I consider applying for a grant?
Applying for a grant can positively impact student learning through innovation and collaboration, implement a project or program that is not included in your college or division budget, gain/provide opportunity for professional growth for participating faculty/staff, gain recognition for your division, gain recognition for your college, support the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP), and support the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Plan.
Q. What is an RFP?
RFP stands for Request for Proposal. It's an announcement that the funding agency is accepting applications for a grant program. The RFP is also called a solicitation, funding notice, NOFA (Notice of Funding Availability), and other names. Regardless of what it is called, this is the official announcement of a grant program and outlines all the details including deadlines, specifications, allowable costs and activities, etc.
Q. What is a PI?
PI stands for Principle Investigator. It is the person responsible for the development and administration of a grant from beginning to completion.It is not the grant writer.
Q. Where do ideas for grant proposals originate?
You the faculty, staff and leadership of Elizabethtown Community and Technical College have ideas and projects that become grants.
Q. What if I have an idea?
Please communicate your idea to your grants office as well as your division chair/supervisor. The grants office does not know about your ideas unless you speak. The grant writer may see a grant that fits your idea or project; the grant writer can send you information if he/she knows about your project.
Q. What services are offered by the ECTC Division of Grants and Sponsored Projects?
There are many services including: locating appropriate funding opportunities, securing institutional support in applying for grant funds, providing guidance in developing the idea, interpreting grant guidelines, developing (writing/ co-writing /compiling) grant proposals, reviewing grant proposals, as well as submitting grant proposals to funding agencies.
Q. For what grants is Elizabethtown Community and Technical College eligible?
Any grant that allows public institutions of higher education to apply, unless it specifies that 2-year colleges are not eligible.
Q. What are matching funds, and what do I do if a match is required by the grant program?
Matching funds are nonfederal dollars (typically raised through fundraising or by the institution) to supplement grant dollars if awarded. Approval to apply for grants that require matching funds must be obtained through the Office of Institutional Advancement and college president and coordinated with the Business Affairs Office.