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Grants for Gifted Students

Gifted Resources

Within education, grants for gifted students go beyond financial assistance; they bridge the gap between potential and tangible achievement. These opportunities pave the way for enriched academic experiences, specialized training, and meaningful connections with like-minded peers, empowering gifted students to thrive in the classroom and in pursuit of careers.

Types of Grants Available for Gifted Students

More and more, opportunities for gifted students are being developed every year. Because this is a growing sector of our country’s education system, it’s important to know what kind of financial assistance is available, so these individuals may reach their full potential. The four main types of grants for gifted students are:

  • Federal grants
  • State and local grants
  • Private and foundation-specific grants
  • Academic grants/scholarships

Federal Grants

Federal grants for gifted students enhance educational opportunities for these individuals and act as investments in programs. They’re distributed to state education agencies, non-profit organizations, and sometimes directly to individuals through competitions.

For example, the U.S. Department of Education’s Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program supplies grants that help staff at elementary and secondary schools identify and meet the needs of gifted students.

State and Local Grants

State and local governments offer grants tailored to gifted education, though they vary widely depending on the state and district. Here are a few ways you can source them:

  • Check your state’s Department of Education and Gifted Association’s website for available funding. Many states have specific programs or funds allocated for gifted and talented education.
  • Local districts may have certain funds or participate in state-funded programs that support gifted students. Contact your school district’s office for more information.
  • Visit online databases, like Grants.gov, to search for available opportunities.

Private and Foundation Grants

Private organizations and foundations offer grants that open doors for gifted students by funding innovative programs, providing scholarships, and supporting research and development in this field. These grants are awarded through a competitive process, where programs must demonstrate need and impact while aligning with the funder’s mission.

Notable Foundations That Support Gifted Education

Davidson Institute for Talent Development was founded in 2000 to recognize, nurture, and support the underserved population of profoundly intelligent young people. We offer two financial support options for qualifying families in this community: scholarships and the Young Scholars program.

The American Association for Gifted Children (AAGC)—a recognized leader at state, regional, and national levels—strives to ensure high-quality and appropriately challenging education is accessible to gifted youth. This foundation provides grants and awards that benefit this demographic by funding research, programs, and other initiatives. Check out their website for more information.

Driven to enhance the development of gifted students across the nation, The American Psychological Foundation created the Esther Katz Rosen Fund. It offers a grant specific to advancing gifted education through innovative research and programs. The fund can be used for pilot projects and research-based programs.

Academic Grants/Scholarships

Academic grants and/or scholarships for gifted students are financial awards given based on their school achievements, talents, or potential. They can help cover tuition fees, books, and other educational expenses. To learn more about and apply for this type of grant, students should explore opportunities through their school’s financial aid office, online sources, or outside organizations.

Davidson Institute offers the Fellows Scholarship to profoundly gifted individuals ages up to 18 years old. It was even recognized by Forbes as “one of the nation’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships.” There are several grants available—ranging from $50,000 to $10,000—provided to those who submit a detailed project that showcases their knowledge, talent, and achievement in a particular field.

What You Need to Know About Grant Eligibility Criteria

Eligibility criteria for grants for gifted students typically include evidence of exceptional academic achievement and gifted identification. Besides having results from gifted testing and assessments, students also have to demonstrate the following:

  • Financial need
  • Proficiency in a specific talent
  • Recommendations from teachers or mentors
  • Personal essays
  • Involvement in extracurricular activities or community service
  • Residency or citizenship status
  • Grade-level or age requirements
  • Adherence to grant guidelines, including deadlines

You should thoroughly research each grant opportunity. Double-check the eligibility criteria for each, as they may have unique requirements, such as a minimum GPA or proficiency in a particular field (e.g., STEM).

If you want more help navigating the application process for grants for gifted students, connect with school counselors, gifted therapists, or other faculty members.

How to Find Grants for Gifted Students

Throughout this article, we’ve touched on how to find grant opportunities for gifted students through online databases and school personnel. Research will be a huge piece of the puzzle. Remember to read the grant guidelines carefully, find options that are both broad and niche, keep a calendar of important dates to stay organized, and use any feedback to improve future applications.

It’s also a good idea to start networking if you haven’t already. This could look like attending relevant workshops and events as well as joining extracurricular activities/clubs. Davidson Institute’s Young Scholars program is a good resource. By connecting with school faculty, teachers, and gifted organizations, you can gain support and guidance on the grant application process. Networking efforts not only expand one’s knowledge, but also increase visibility within the gifted education community, enhancing the likelihood of you securing a grant.

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