It’s Going Away: The Legacy PDF Application Package Will Be Retired.

The legacy PDF application package will be retired on December 31, 2017.

If you don’t know what that means and missed our previous blog posts here and here, or the Notices page, here’s a quick summary:

In the past, applicants have downloaded and filled out a single, big, stitched PDF application package that contained all the forms (i.e., the “legacy PDF application package”). To work as a team, you had to email the file back-and-forth while making sure all are using the same exact version of Adobe software.

How Do I Apply for a Grant, Then?!

To improve your application experience with, we launched Workspace in October 2015. Since its launch, we have added functionality and developed training resources that have helped many applicants transition to Workspace.

By December 31, 2017, the 2+ year lead time for transitioning will end and the legacy PDF application package will be retired.

Okay, I Get It. How Do I Apply using Workspace?

We can help with that. First, read through this overview of how to apply for grants using Workspace, which has pages that explain the full process and roles. There are links to more specific instructions on those pages as well.

Prefer video? Watch the Learning Workspace Video Series below:

If you are still looking for more, read through the Workspace Roles 3-part series on how the core roles work together as a team: #1 Manage Workspace Role, #2 Workspace Participants, and #3 Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) Role.

There’s also online help covering how-to instructions and finer details of the system. Of course, as you use workspace there are blue question mark icons that link directly to help articles for that page.

ContactPlease let us know what you think in the comments below or on Twitter @grantsdotgov.

34 thoughts on “It’s Going Away: The Legacy PDF Application Package Will Be Retired.

  1. as I’m just finding out most of these opportunities in the past couple weeks. Its all very overwhelming. Im buying my house from a relative on land contract & the utilities are in Her name bcuz I clnt get n mine bcuz of other. Bills That were not. Paid due tto a series of occurances.. I’m diabled , I also receive SSd , but not enough t pay bills,inclu food,repairs ,house insurance and provide for My 15 yr old son l. Yes ln supposed to get A set amount of CS. But He pays what He can. My “worker. ” hasnt been the most helpful since I fell & broke my back I had No choice but to file for help.
    IM JUST. VER Overwhelmed. Here. SMH. I keep getting text they found help for me but when I go on page ,it asked me about go in back to school. I can barely. Sit long enough to fill this out.
    I’m not getting better.


      1. Hello, I just want to tell you how I got into this situation. About 4 years ago I caught walking pneumonia and almost died,my family had to take my child, cause I couldn’t afford to take care of him, until I get better. But I lost my well payed job,it’s been very hard.I had to get ssi but I can’t work full time anymore unless I pay them back. Then someone inform me that theirs a program that gives grant’s and don’t have to repay it back. So I really need to apply for this grant,I need help very bad, and don’t want to break the law or do something stupid and foolish. So please help me getting this grant will be a blessing from heaven,and later in a year ,I need to apply to go back to college and get my degree


  2. Well I used the workspace for a grant previously and now I am doing my second grant. In theory this is a good concept but PROBLEM: the system crashes – you open and work on a file, save it and it says “file saved”. Then you try to close by clicking the close button. – nothing – you get your little swirling blob going for ever – never stops….and finally you get a message “error 404” – !!! then your file is locked. On the grant I am working on now, it’s not possible to use workspace as it is advertised. All my files ended up being locked on the side!! The only solution, which is painful, is to download every file, work on it, save it to your computer, then upload the file to Workspace. This is not how adveritized the function of this system. I have submitted multiple reports, but its still happening. I used multiple browsers – same result.


    1. Hi Joseph, we’re sorry to hear that your online forms are not saving and closing properly. May we ask what specific online forms you are completing? Also, have you reached out to the Call Center (1-800-518-4726) for assistance?

      One suggestion: Try creating a new workspace for the same funding opportunity (it should take just a couple of minutes) and see if you are having the same issue in the new workspace.

      While not all application forms are currently available in the online format, we are rolling out new online forms monthly. Please keep us posted and/or feel free to contact the Call Center. They should be able to take a look at your workspace. (By the way, any PDF forms you have already filled out can be reused and uploaded into the new workspace, if you choose to create a new one.)


    2. Most of the government grant software systems have the same problems, this is how the tax dollars work.


  3. I need money to cover college and someone sent me to this website . I really wanna go to college and grants would help me


  4. My only issue thus far with this system is that the PI is not able to review the application as a whole, instead they have to do so by sections.


  5. As a Grantor, what does this mean for the application packages that we download and process? Our software expects to see a zip file containing the SF424, attachments, manifest, etc. Thanks in advance for any guidance you can provide.


    1. Hi Kevin, Thanks for the question! Nothing will change on your end. You will still get the same zip file containing the SF424, attachments, manifest, etc.


  6. My organization has processed 2 grants, both submitted through, one currently showing as pending on the actual site for the grantor agency. When I check status on, they are both showing as submitted and that numbers have been assigned, etc. So, my question is: Should I include checking with the contact persons at the grantor agencies, or will I eventually see the status on Please advise. Thanks.


    1. As both grants have been successfully submitted and assigned tracking numbers, you should reach out to the contact persons at the grantor agencies if you have questions about the application review status.


  7. Hi,

    Will this switch impact government agencies that award grants and publish notices of funding opportunities on If so, what should government agencies expect?



    1. This change will have no impact on the grantor side. Grant-making agencies will continue to publish funding opportunities and receive submitted grant applications in the same way.


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