Funding Insights

10 Formula Grants Definition Grants

Every American should be conversant with formula grants definition. These grants are given based on formulas, and can be very useful to your life!

Resource management is a vital part of human life. Thus, financing is always a key element of success, and for Americans, grants can be a lifesaver.

Formula grants, sometimes known as “state-administered grants,” are a way for the federal government to distribute more than $400 billion to state and local governments each year to implement:

  • Federal programs
  • Health care for the poor
  • Children’s health insurance,
  • Special needs and K–12 education,
  • Transportation,
  • Law enforcement/homeland security,
  • Nutrition programs for children and pregnant women, and
  • Welfare

All these are all examples of formula grant awards.

But, how can you apply for formula grants, and how can you get your hands on them? We’ll take you through the basics of formula grants definition. Also, we will give you some tips on how to go about securing them for your own use.

What Are Formula Grants?

A formula grant is a type of mandatory grant that is awarded for specific types of work based on statistical criteria. These statistical criteria, as well as the amount of funds to be distributed, are defined by the authorizing legislation and regulations. As a result, the term “formula” refers to the method through which grant funds are distributed to grantees.

An example of a formula grant is Medicaid. According to the law, the federal government gives matching funds to state governments for any activities that fall under Medicaid coverage. The states receive the formula’s output as long as regulations are followed and services are provided in a compliant manner.

Formula grants are distinct from discretionary grants, which require organizations (and occasionally individuals) to submit applications for competitive assessment and selection. Formula grants, however, does not require competition among the beneficiaries.

Legislation and regulations have established the formula grants definition, and monies must be distributed according to it. Furthermore, formula funds are often given to state, local, or territorial governments in the United States rather than private groups; formula grants are not given directly to individuals.

What Are The Benefits Of Formula Grants?

State and local governments are not obligated to compete for formula grant monies in the same way that they are not forced to compete for other federal awards.

This is because each award is determined by a formula established by law or Congress, which decides which cash a state or town is eligible to receive. Formulas establish what proportion of total cash the lower government must give to get federal (matching) funding, in the case of matching formula grants.

In many circumstances, states with significant unemployment, poverty (for health care, education, and nutrition), or highway miles (for transportation), with underperforming education systems, and so on, might qualify for federal matching funds that are several times the state contribution. A minimum floor is included in the formula grants definition of many of these matching formula grants.

How Can I Get Formula Grants?

As was previously stated, getting each formula grants definition is determined by a formula established by law, which decides which cash a state or town is eligible to receive. What this means is that, ideally, you can get a formula grant from your state, based on what has been given to your state and your needs, at the time.

Now, you see why formula grants definition is so vital?

By the way, there are some formula grants that you might qualify to receive based on certain criteria, and some of them are:

  • Medicaid
  • State Children’s Health Insurance Program
  • Women, Infant and Children’s nutrition program
  • National School Lunch Program
  • Title IV-E Foster Care programs
  • Head Start, early childhood education
  • Highway Planning and Construction
  • Welfare (Family Assistance Grants under TANF)
  • Special Needs Education Grants
  • Title I Local Education Grants

1. Medicaid

HHS administers roughly two-thirds of all federal formula grant monies and four of the top 10 funded programs. Medicaid is the most expensive federal formula grant program, costing more than five times as much as any other federal formula grant program.

It covers 50 million low-income Americans, including 22.6 million low-income children and 12 million elderly and disabled people. Medicaid is a matching grant that was passed in 1965 as part of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.

2. State Children’s Health Insurance Program

The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is a federal-state partnership that offer low medical insurance to children whose families earn too much money to qualify for Medicaid. CHIP covers expectant women in various states.

Each state has its own CHIP program, which works in tandem with its state Medicaid program. However, all states provide comprehensive coverage, which includes regular checkups, vaccinations, doctor appointments, and medications.

3. Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)

WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) is a federal program that provides supplemental foods, health care referrals, and nutrition education to low-income pregnant, breastfeeding, and non-breastfeeding postpartum women, as well as infants and children up to the age of five who are found to be nutritionally vulnerable.

4. National School Lunch Program

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a nationally funded food program that serves students in public and private schools, as well as in residential child care facilities. Every school day, it serves nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to youngsters.

5. Title IV-E Foster Care programs

The Social Security Act’s Title IV-E (42 U.S.C. 671-679b) is a significant source of money for foster care costs. Under the program, a portion of the administrative and maintenance costs of foster care will be reimbursed by the federal government for children who meet certain federal eligibility conditions.

In New York, the federal portion is 50%. The federal monies assist in defraying the costs of providing foster care to children at the state and local levels.

6. Head Start Early Childhood Education

Through local programs, the Office of Head Start (OHS) assists young children from low-income families in preparing for school success.

Children’s development is aided through Head Start and Early Head Start programs, which provide services that assist early learning, health, and family well-being.

7. Highway Planning and Construction

Several transportation programs are included in this grant, and they are:

1) Federal-aid Highway Program:

The Federal-aid Highway Program assists states in providing for the construction, preservation, and improvement of highways and bridges on eligible Federal-Aid routes (including the National Highway System (NHS) – an integrated, interconnected transportation system important to interstate commerce and travel), as well as other special purpose programs and projects.

The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the United States Virgin Islands are all covered by this program, which includes roadway building and improvement.

2) The Federal Lands Highway Program (FLHP)

This program assists the Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMAs) with federally-owned roads and trails. It provides transportation engineering services and funds for roadway and bridge planning, design, construction, and rehabilitation on federally owned lands or that provide access to them.

Other customers benefit from the Federal Lands Highway organization’s training, technology deployment, and engineering services.

3) The FAST Act

This act created two new freight assistance programs: the formula-based National Highway Freight Program (NHFP), which provides financial support to states to boost freight efficiency on the National Highway Freight Network (NHFN); and the discretionary Nationally Significant Freight and Highway Projects (NSFHP), which brings about targeted investment to freight projects on the NHFN, as well as highway and bridge projects on the NHS and railway-highway grade crossings.

The FAST Act maintains the program’s focus on safety and performance-based investment, as well as quickening project delivery through faster environmental review and the elimination of redundant techniques.

8. Welfare (TANF)

The Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program provides states with grant monies to provide financial assistance and support services to low-income families.

Childcare aid, employment preparation, and work support are examples of state-run initiatives.

9. Special Needs Education Grants

Special Education Research Grants include the following:

  • Transition to Postsecondary Education, Career, and/or Independent Living
  • Technology for Special Education
  • Systems, Policy, and Finance
  • Special Topics
  • Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
  • Reading, Writing, and Language
  • Families of Children with Disabilities
  • Educators and School-Based Service Providers
  • Early Intervention and Early Learning
  • Cognition and Student Learning in Special Education
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

10. Title I Local Education Grants

These awards are intended to assist local educational agencies (LEAs) in improving teaching and learning in high-poverty schools, particularly for children who are failing or at risk of failing, and in meeting demanding State academic standards.

What Are The Requirements For Formula Grants?

Requirements for formula grants are set by states, and so might differ from state to state. That is, there is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to formula grants. This is one of the most important pillar of formula grants definition, and it is important that you know it.

Kindly contact the necessary agencies in your state to learn more about the program you want to apply for.

READ ALSO: Workforce Investment Grants For US Companies

What Are Some Examples Of Formula Grants?

Formula grants are a type of grant that provides financial assistance to pregnant women and new mothers. You can use the money to cover the costs of formula, food and nutrition, and other related expenses. There are a variety of different formula grant programs available, each with its own set of eligibility criteria. Some common examples include:

  • The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC),
  • Nurse-Family Partnership Program, and
  • The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for families with children.

To learn more about eligibility and other parts of formula grants definition, contact your local government or social services agency.


Formula grants definition is crucial to states in the United States, as it allows them to know what will come to them in the federal allocation of grants. And as we have explained in the formula grants definition of the US, many of these grants are available to you as a US citizen or lawful resident.

Some examples stated in the formula grants definition are the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and Medicaid. You are eligible to apply to any of them, and should not hesitate to do so, through your state.

Finally, do not forget that each state will set its own eligibility criteria. The rule is that, in order to get a formula grant, you must meet the requirements, which vary from state to state.

So, start applying today, and good luck!

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