It can be intimidating to apply for a Perkins grant, intimidating enough to keep educators from applying all together.
Grant applications are often quite a task, especially when the process differs for each state, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option or a website that spells everything out.
Not to worry, you’ll find the best tips and tricks to apply for a Perkins grant here!
1. Understand the Perkins Grant
The Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act was authorized by the United States federal government in 1984 and was reauthorized in 1990, 1998, 2006, and 2018.
Now, the newest version of the Act helps awardees improve vocational education programs across the U.S. The Perkins grant develops academic, career, and technical skills, so students have equal opportunity and are more prepared to obtain jobs.
The Perkins grant is the main federal funding source for high school, college, and university CTE programs.
Grant funds go to three main programs:
- Basic State Grants Programs
- National Programs
- Tech Prep Programs
According to the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), the purpose of the Perkins Grant is, “… to improve and modernize career and technical education and align workforce skills with labor market need…”
The grant builds up real-world, career-centered skills and creates a more diverse and qualified working population.
2. Contact Your State CTE Director
It can be beneficial to contact your state CTE director because they can help you apply for a Perkins grant and can direct you to other qualified professionals.
Here, you’ll find a directory including each state or area director and their phone number.
State CTE directors can outline the steps you have to take when you apply for a Perkins grant in your specific state.
The Perkins Collaborative Resource Network (PCRN) provides national and state summaries that can be helpful in understanding each state’s grant allotment.
3. Find Out Which Expenses Qualify for Perkins Funding
Federal funding resources have a general list of acceptable and unacceptable ways to spend funds, but specific expense guidelines are usually different for each state.
Your state director will help you understand how to apply for a Perkins grant.
Examples of federal allowable expenses include:
- Compensation for CTE instructors (salaries, wages, fringe benefits)
- Child care for economically disadvantaged students who could not participate in CTE activities without child care
- Organizational memberships and subscriptions in business, professional, technical groups, and associations
- Contracted services that support CTE programs
- Supplemental coursework
The OCTEA provides a full list of allowable expenses.
Some states provide lists of specific allowable and unallowable expenses:
Examples of Acceptable Expenses
Smith Avenue High School in Westfield, Massachusetts received funds to support student flight programs. The funds were used for student preparations on a hangar at Barnes Regional Airport.
The College of DuPage Technical Education Center is primarily funded through the Perkins grant. The center hosts all sorts of technical programs, ranging from mechanical skills to greenhouse management.
Stukent is a digital courseware provider, and we focus on all things marketing. Our goal is to provide high school and higher-education students as much real-world experience as they can.
We provide digital textbooks, courses, simulations, and expert sessions. Stukent simulations are supplemental coursework, making a wide and current skill-set available to students.
According to the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act reauthorization in 2006, the Act expects funds to build “…on the efforts of States and localities to develop challenging academic and technical standards and to assist students in meeting such standards…”
4. Understand How to Apply for a Perkins Grant
The Perkins application process differs by state and can even vary by district, making the process somewhat difficult to manage.
The expenses you are attempting to get funded need to fit the purpose of the Perkins program and your state’s plan.
- Will this benefit existing class models and programs?
- Will this benefit students directly?
- Are there measurable outcomes?
- What supplies and resources are needed for this project?
- What is the estimated total cost for this project?
- Is this expense supplemental to what is already present your program?
- Will this project support preparation in non-traditional fields?
- Will this help students with special needs?
- How does this project improve the technical skills of students within business and industry?
You can begin the application in a variety of ways depending on the systems your school and district have in place. Some states have portals you can fill out online, and some states make you to fill out grant applications manually and send them to CTE professionals.
Examples of grant application portals:
5. Know How You’ll Receive Funds After You Apply for a Perkins Grant
The amount of money allocated to each state is determined by population and demographic.
State allocations for fiscal year 2019 are provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
First, federal funding is given to each state and area. From there, states give funds to districts, and districts send the funds to schools.
Because of this process, the deadlines for application and fund distribution vary by state and district. Funds can often take a fair amount of time traveling from the federal government to schools.
Stukent understands this issue. We will allow your school to start using Stukent products before receiving your funds, as long as you send in a purchase order to confirm payment upon receiving grant money.
Grant applications can be tiring.
Stukent has the easiest grant program ever. Schools who qualify save a minimum of $500. They will receive proof of savings they can share with local school administration and will typically know if they qualify for a grant within 24 hours.
Stukent course consultants can answer questions you may have about using Perkins funds for Sukent products. In addition, consultants can also help you understand the Stukent Grant Program.
The Perkins grant is in place to help further the technical education of students across the nation. You can get through the process a bit quicker with these helpful hints.