Federal Grants for Aspiring Teachers
Beginning fall 2008, the federal government offers the TEACH Grant program, which provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in an elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, students must agree to serve as a fulltime teacher in a public or private school serving low income students for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which they received a TEACH Grant.
Eligibility Requirements: To receive a TEACH Grant, students must meet the following criteria:
- complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (although financial need does not need to be demonstrated)
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student at a participating institution
- be enrolled in coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching and meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25)
- sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve
IMPORTANT: Students who fail to complete the four-year service obligation will have the total amount of their TEACH Grants converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. Students must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education and will be charged interest from the dates of the grant disbursement. Application Process: Students apply to their college financial aid office. Each year that students receive a TEACH Grant, they must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve available from the U.S. Department of Education at www.studentaid.ed.gov.