The Federal TEACH Grant Offers Funds To Prospective Teachers

The Federal TEACH Grant Offers Funds To Prospective Teachers

Kim Pinnelli

by Kim Pinnelli
Senior Contributing Writer

Updated November 30, 2020
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The Federal TEACH Grant Offers Funds To Prospective Teachers

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This grant helps college students that will go on to be a teacher in a low-income area, teaching a high-need subject.

The TEACH Grant or Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant Program offers funds to college students taking courses to begin a career in teaching, a high need field. The recipients of the grant must agree to teach for four years or more full-time at a school that serves students from low income families at any level from elementary to high school.

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible to receive a TEACH grant, which is offered through the Department of Education, you must meet the requirements including teaching at a highly needed subject at an elementary or secondary school that serves a low-income population. There must be a shortage of teachers in that subject in the area. The highly needed subjects include the basics, such as math, reading, science as well as foreign language, bilingual education, special education, and reading specialist. Other subjects may be included on a school-by-school basis.

In addition, you must attend one of the TEACH grant eligible schools. You must also be an undergraduate or graduate student that is eligible for federal student aid. In addition, you must maintain a 3.25 GPA or score in the 75th percentile of the college admissions test.

How to Apply

Like most grants, you must first complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to see if you qualify for the TEACH grant. If you do, it will be a part of your financial aid package. You must reapply for the grant every year by completing the FAFSA each year.

If you’re chosen for the TEACH grant, you must complete TEACH Grant Counseling and complete the Agreement to Serve form which details your agreement to serve the community. There are penalties if you don’t fulfill the agreement.

How Much Is Available

You may receive up to $4,000 with the TEACH grant per year that you are in school. The grant funds are limited, however, and once they are gone, they are gone. It is important to complete your FAFSA early if you want to be considered for the grant.

TEACH Grant Exit Counseling

Once you complete your study program, you’ll complete TEACH grant exit counseling. This counseling session teaches you the next steps you must take to fulfill your teaching commitment. It also covers what may happen if you don’t fulfill the teaching requirements (or your service obligation), including how your grant will turn into a student loan – specifically, a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Programs Can you Use the Grant For

The TEACH grant may be used on any program that will teach you to work in a high-need educational field. You must be working toward a bachelor's or master’s degree. You may use the grant for two-year programs that can be transferred to a four-year degree when finished. You cannot use the grant in a graduate program at a school that has an eligible bachelor's degree program.

The allowed programs vary by school – this is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Ask your school’s financial aid office if they participate in the TEACH grant program before attending that school.

The TEACH grant requirements aren’t extensive, but you do have to commit your time to work in a specific field in an area of need. If you plan to teach in a low-income area, this can be a great way to get some help with your college education without taking out a loan.