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Many people look to the government to find out how to apply for a grant or to get “free money,” which they have seen advertised on television or in various publications. Federal grants are awards of financial assistance to an individual and/or organization. Grants are used to carry out a government authorized purpose, and are not provided as personal benefits from the government or assistance. Grants are typically awarded to universities, researchers, law enforcement, cities, states, counties, and non-profit organizations. Loans are different than grants because they are awarded to an individual as a personal benefit or assistance. You are required to pay back a loan, often with interest.