Use of Preapplications To Improve the Grant Application Process
Aug 7, 1978
There is an opportunity for improving the grant application process in a number of discretionary grant programs through the use of a preapplication process. The term "preapplication" refers to a process involving submission of a shortened preliminary proposal for review. The grantor agency then advises the applicant on the likelihood of funding for the proposed project. Such a process would encourage applications from a wide range of interests, save relatively uncompetitive applicants the time and cost of preparing full proposals, and save the grantor agency the time and cost of reviewing a large number of full proposals. The extent to which the preapplication process has been used in the Education Division has been limited, and there has been no systematic effort to detemine the potential usefulness of the preapplication process in education programs. Neither administrative units nor program offices have been able to provide data on the costs and benefits of the preapplication process. Most officials felt that direct savings to the Office of Education would be minimal but that savings to applicants would be significant, and they generally agreed that the process could increase participation and improve the quality of applications. The Education Division should fully explore the extent to which the preapplication process can be used in its programs and implement the process where appropriate.