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Grants For Tutoring Low-Income Students

Written by: Jody Adams
Last updated: January 31, 2024

High-dosage tutoring is one of the evidence-based practices that tutoring businesses offer to give students learning opportunities outside of school, helping them address unfinished learning and develop effective study skills. Especially for underserved students and those who require special education services, tutoring plays an instrumental role. For tutoring businesses, it can sometimes be challenging to balance their financial obligations and the unique needs of their student clientele, which can range from first-generation college students to those dealing with the impact of the pandemic on students.

Governments, education agencies, and foundations award grants for tutoring low-income students to encourage and support these businesses, thus bridging the gap in educational opportunities based on family income. As education providers, businesses should diligently scrutinize grant guidelines and criteria when contemplating a funding opportunity.

When you're not a nonprofit organization, tapping into direct funds can be tricky. Contacting the private sector, including privately owned businesses and individuals, is often the most feasible route to get funding when you run a tutoring service, especially a high-impact tutoring program. Through their community service initiatives, many of these entities are looking to make a difference in student academic achievement. You might also consider collaborating with community-based organizations to pool resources and expertise. Moreover, by declaring your services as 501c3 organizations, you unlock a plethora of grant possibilities, including those for school tutoring and online tutoring, earmarked specifically for nonprofits.

The federal agencies and public agencies listed below are among the long-standing federal programs and initiatives that may provide funding for your project, with some even offering additional assistance such as assistive technology like a free laptop to amplify your efforts.

Upward Bound Program

The US Department of Education has set up the Upward Bound program to provide funding to tutoring businesses. The Upward Bound program aims to support students with disadvantaged backgrounds pursuing postsecondary education. Upward Bound supports tutoring organizations and businesses working with college students and veterans to gain educational advancement. The deadline for Upward Bound Program grant applications is in the late summer or fall every year.

Student Support Services Grant

Additionally, grants are awarded by the Department of Education for activities related to tutoring at individual higher education institutions. Grants for Student Support Services are available to help both public and private colleges establish and run tutoring programs that assist students with academic coursework and career guidance. Students with disabilities or students from low-income families who have never attended college are eligible for the Student Support Services Grant. A tutoring business that does not have affiliation or partnership with an academic institution may not qualify for this grant program.

Gates Foundation Community Grants

As a leading private grantmaker in education and workforce development, the Gates Foundation provides grants for tutoring low-income students. The Gates Foundation's United States Program supports schools, tutoring companies, and other educational programs. was among the recipients of Gates Foundation grants in the past, which offered online tutoring for students and teachers. The Gates Foundation offers educational grants to applicants in the Pacific Northwest region whose work builds community-school partnerships.

State Supplemental Education Services

Many states offer grants for tutoring low-income students as part of the No Child Left Behind Act. The state approves supplemental education service providers per student, and the local school districts fund them. To qualify for this support, tutoring businesses must offer free educational assistance to low-income families and students. Tutoring businesses that assist students enrolled at a local public school are eligible to receive state support from state SES programs. To become a provider of supplemental education services, one must apply for funding through their state's education department and individual school districts.

Small Business Grants

The term "small business grant" refers to money awarded to growing companies by either a government agency or a private organization. Browse these resources to find the right grants for tutoring low-income students.

If you want to search all grant programs administered by the federal government, you should visit Even though the website feels clunky and dated, you may be able to find the type of grant program your business could qualify for due to the 26 grant-making agencies in the federal government.

National Association For The Self-Employed (NASE)

NASE offers grants and educational resources to small business owners if a smaller grant for your business seems worthwhile. A grant of up to $4,000 is awarded to small businesses through their Growth Grants Program for specific purposes, like hiring employees.

You must join NASE before applying for a grant. Then, you'll have to specify how the funds will be used and how they will fit into your overall business plan. The NASE provides small business owners with memberships that include the following services along with grants:

  • 24/7 expert advice
  • UPS and Office Depot discounts
  • $10,000 - $20,000 in life insurance
  • Medical emergency help
  • LifeLock ID theft protection

FedEx Small Business Grant Contest

Over $778,000 in grant money has been awarded to small businesses through the FedEx Small Business Grant Contest since its inception in 2013. The business entity applying for this grant must be a US-based for-profit entity that employs less than 99 people and has been in business for at least six months.

Application deadlines typically start in the middle of February, with the contest held annually. For more information about applying, check out FedEx's website. 

USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program

Rural small businesses can apply for grants from $10,000 to $500,000 through the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant program. If you are located in a rural part of the US and have fewer than 50 employees and less than $1 million in gross revenue, you may be eligible to apply. Rural areas are defined as those located outside of the urbanized areas of cities with 50,000 or more people.

Applicants for USDA Rural Development grants should contact their state's USDA Rural Development office.

Amber Grant Program

WomensNet established Amber Grants to support female owners of small businesses. Each month, a woman-owned business receives $10,000 as part of this program. A monthly grant winner receives another grant of $25,000 at the end of the year. The program is open to all female entrepreneurs in the United States and Canada, although applications from non-profits are no longer accepted.

In contrast to other grant programs, the Amber Grant program allows applicants to apply year-round. The Amber Grant application process is straightforward. Past grant recipients have simply shared their hearts. Don't try to sound corporate. The judges are looking for both passion and business acumen.

Visa Everywhere Initiative

VEI is a multi-national grant program that offers grants to companies that meet the following criteria: their ideas should relate to Visa's business, they should already have a product on the market, they should have traction with early customers, and they should have received external funding.

The Visa Everywhere Initiative website has information on how and when to apply for submissions early in the year. Since 2019 the VEI has also offered a "Women's Global Edition" program. Women entrepreneurs from all over the world are welcome to participate. The first two global finalists are each awarded $100,000.

StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award

Veteran-owned businesses and veterans are the main focus of StreetShares, an online lender. StreetShares Foundation Veteran Small Business Award is another grant program the lender offers. Military veterans, active duty, and reserve members of the Armed Forces and their spouses are eligible for this program.

You should monitor the program's website if you're interested in applying for the Veteran Small Business Award from the StreetShares Foundation. Each contest concludes with three grants being awarded. Prizes are $15,000 for the winner, $6,000 for the second-place winner, and $4,000 for the third-place winner.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What types of grants are available for tutoring low-income students in the US?

Grants for tutoring low-income students are offered by federal and state governments, educational institutions, and private organizations. These grants aim to support tutoring programs or individual tutors who provide educational assistance to disadvantaged students to help bridge the achievement gap.

How can I apply for a grant to tutor low-income students?

To apply for a grant, research available grant opportunities, review eligibility criteria and grant requirements, gather necessary documentation (such as a proposal outlining your tutoring program), and complete the application process as specified by each grantor. Ensure that you submit your application and supporting documents by the specified deadline.

Are there any specific grants for tutoring low-income students in STEM subjects or other specialized areas?

Yes, some grants focus on tutoring low-income students in STEM subjects or other specialized areas, aiming to increase their opportunities and representation in these fields. Research grant opportunities that align with your tutoring expertise and the needs of the students you plan to serve.

If you're looking for financial assistance for your online high school diploma, check out available grants and scholarships for low-income students.

Are you interested in learning more about different grants and programs that can help you with your living situation? Check out the rest of Gov Relations’ blog section today!

Jody Adams
Jody Adams is an accomplished editor-in-chief with a deep understanding of social care and government benefits issues. With a background in journalism and a master's degree in Public Policy, Jody has spent her career shaping the narrative around social policies and their impact on society. She has worked with renowned publications, effectively bridging the gap between complex policy analysis and public understanding. Jody's editorial expertise ensures that vital information on social care and government benefits reaches a broad audience, empowering individuals to make informed decisions.
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