A grant is given to businesses or students based on a financial need and does not require repayment, notes the California Student Aid Commission and the Small Business Administration (SBA). Grants are almost always only awarded on an application basis, notes the SBA.
Grants for businesses can come at the local, state or federal level and are designed to help businesses grow. These grants can also come in the form of a low-interest loan, which must be repaid, but is low enough to provide the business with the leverage that it needs to make a difference in the development of the business. Students can earn grants by applying for federal Pell grants or other smaller federal grants, states the California Student Aid Commission.