3 Tips on How to Apply for a Race to the Top – District Grant
One of the most coveted educational funding opportunities this year is the prestigious Race to the Top – District grant award. To date, nearly 900 letters of intent have been submitted by educators, schools, and districts across the country. But the Department of Education will only award 15 to 25 of these grants, so applications must be in strategically focused and “reviewer friendly” to be considered.
That’s a lot of pressure, isn’t it? Grant applications are complicated but, believe it or not, the most common mistake applicants make when submitting a proposal is including too many unnecessary details. Certainly, you don’t want to leave anything out, but you definitely need to keep your message clear and to the point. Here are some tried and true tips on how to effectively apply for that significant Race to the Top District funding:
1. Do Your Homework – Research this grant program thoroughly before you start writing your application. While similar to other Race to the Top competitions, RttT-D is a bit different in that it is clearly focused on personalization of student learning through the integrated use of technology in the classroom. Look up legislation and guidance documents related to Race to the Top – District so you have a working knowledge of what the Department of Education is trying to accomplish with these funds – personalization and innovation are crucial topics to mention in your application. Be ready to explain how your district will transform teaching and learning using 21st century skills, tools and strategies with teachers and students.
2. Keep it Short and Simple
Don’t overthink the questions – respond to what the grant is asking and resist the urge to elaborate or veer off subject. Keep to the point and be confident in your responses. If possible, answers should be one or two paragraphs in length. Including too much information will cause the reader to lose focus and/or lose interest in your application and move on to the next candidate.
3. Connect the Dots
A grant reviewer will want to know exactly what you plan to do with the funds. Nothing is more frustrating to a reader than trying to match a multiplicity of activities defined one way in the narrative, to a list of expenses defined differently in the proposal’s budget. Match your activities as clearly and straight-forwardly as possible in these two sections.
While these few tips should get you started on your Race to the Top-District application, more explicit tips can be found in my white paper entitled, Applying for a Race to the Top District Grant. Remember, when it comes to grant applications you want to be direct, brief, and clear. Hundreds, if not thousands, of applications cross reviewers’ desks every year, so a concise and coherent application is much more likely to achieve its purpose than a verbose one.
Are you, or have you in the past, applied for a Race to the Top – District grant? What advice or application tips could you offer to Navigator readers? Please share your tips with us in the comment section.
Trackback from your site.