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Step 2: Complete an Application Package

After downloading the application package, you, the applicant, can complete the application offline and share the document within the office. Before beginning the process of entering information into the application package, please read the grant-making agency's application instructions. The agency's instructions include all the necessary information on what is required to submit the application.

Tips for Completing an Application

Save Frequently: Having downloaded your application package from Grants.gov means you will complete it offline, so it is important to save your progress frequently. Also, if you have not already checked your Adobe software for compatibility with Grants.gov, please do so now before spending time completing an application that you cannot successfully submit to the system.

File Size Limit: The total application submission size cannot exceed 200 MB, and we also recommend keeping individual attachments under 100 MB. Keep this in mind as you complete the forms and attach your files. It is up to you to make sure your submissions do not exceed these limits and failure to keep the file under the limit may cause your application package to be rejected by Grants.gov or by the agency.

Complete Your Application Before the Deadline: We strongly recommend submitting your completed application package at least 24 to 48 hours prior to the closing date. If you wait until the last day, issues such as an internet outage, slow upload speed, or an incomplete application package can cause you to miss the deadline and miss out on a funding opportunity.

How to Complete an Application Package

After downloading an application and saving it, you do not need to be online to complete the application. Follow the steps below to complete an application package using Grants.gov.

  1. Open the saved application.

  2. Verify that the pre-entered information is for the grant opportunity for which you want to apply. If the federal funding opportunity listed is not the correct opportunity, close this application package by clicking the Cancel button at the top of the screen. Next, locate the correct federal funding opportunity and download its application before continuing to apply.

  3. If the federal funding opportunity listed is the opportunity for which you want to apply, complete the application in its entirety before submitting it.

NOTE: Applications can be completed in their entirety offline; however, to submit an application you will need to connect to the Internet.

  1. While filling out the application package, be sure to save frequently by clicking the Save button on the cover page of the application package.

  2. Click the Check Package for Errors button to ensure all of the required portions of the application package are complete. Address any errors that are identified before submitting.

  3. Click the Save & Submit button after completing the application package. The Save & Submit button will not be functional until the application is properly completed with no errors and saved.

NOTE: If you have any application-specific questions, contact the offering agency directly using the contact information provided on the application's cover page.

How to Complete a Form

Grants.gov forms are predefined and contain required and optional fields. You, the applicant, should complete the SF-424 form before any other form in the application package. The SF-424 form populates certain fields on additional forms within the package, so it will save you time and avoid technical issues to complete the SF-424 form first.

  1. Fill in all the required fields. The required fields are highlighted in yellow with a red border. Once completed, the required fields are displayed in white.

  2. Fill in applicable optional fields. The optional fields are displayed in white.

  3. Select any field to enter the necessary information.

  4. Use the Tab button on your keyboard to move from field to field.

Note: If you enter invalid or incomplete information in a required field, you will receive an error message upon leaving the field.

  1. Click the Save button (on the cover page) to save your entire application.


PROCEED TO STEP 3: Submit an Application Package