Grants are gifts that need not be repaid and may originate through the government or private sources. Government grants are usually given to students in need. They also typically require the maintenance of a specific grade point average (GPA) throughout your academic career. Private grants often take the form of scholarships and have their own guidelines. The amount offered may vary depending on the individual and other criteria. Grants awarded in graduate school can often be used to pay for travel to conferences, research, experiments or other projects.