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An award of financial assistance from a Federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public project or service authorized by a United States law. Unlike loans, grants do not need to be repaid. Most grants are awarded to state and local governments. On this site, you’ll see reference to several types of grants, including block grants, formula grants, project grants, and cooperative agreements.

A Federal financial assistance award making payment in cash or in kind for a specified purpose. The Federal government is not expected to have substantial involvement with the state or local government or other recipient while the contemplated activity is being performed. The term “grant” is used broadly and may include a grant to nongovernmental recipients as well as one to a state or local government, while the term “grant-in-aid” is commonly used to refer only to a grant to a state or local government. (For a more detailed description, see the Federal Grant and Cooperative Agreement Act of 1977, 31 U.S.C. §§ 6301–6308.) The two major forms of Federal grants-in-aid are block and categorical.