What Is a TEACH Grant?

The Teacher Training Assistance for Higher Education (TEACH) grant is a federal aid program that helps teachers pay for their qualified higher education costs in exchange for meeting a four-year service obligation.

If you do not complete the agreement, the subsidy becomes a loan that must be repaid with interest. The TEACH grant can be a great resource for those seeking a teaching career, but it is important to fully understand the service obligation so that you do not face surprises in the future.

Learn more about what you need to know before accepting a TEACH scholarship.

TEACH Scholarship Definition and Examples

The TEACH grant is a federal financial aid program provided by the Department of Education. It gives teachers up to $ 4,000 a year to pay for their postsecondary education in exchange for meeting a four-year service obligation.

Undergraduate and graduate students can receive up to $ 16,000 over four years, while graduate students can receive up to $ 8,000 over two years. To get the full amount, you must be enrolled full-time in an eligible program at a participating school.

How the TEACH scholarship works

The TEACH grant exists to help aspiring teachers cover the costs of higher education while filling high-need teaching positions in low-income schools. If approved, you will need to undergo counseling to learn more about your service obligation.

Additionally, you must sign a TEACH grant agreement to serve or reimburse. You will then receive a statement that explains the award amount and the school's payment dates. Your school will apply your TEACH grant in more than one installment, crediting your account, paying directly, or both.

When you graduate or stop attending your higher education program, you will be asked to complete the TEACH Scholarship exit counseling. In addition, you must meet minimum federal student aid requirements and educational service obligations.1

If you fail to meet your service obligations, your TEACH grant will convert to an unsubsidized direct loan. You will need to complete the TEACH Scholarship Conversion Tip and begin repaying your loan with accrued interest from the date of your first disbursement.

In certain circumstances, you may request reconsideration of a TEACH Grant that has been converted to a loan. Your TEACH grant provider can help you with this process.

TEACH scholarship requirements

There are two sets of requirements for TEACH scholarship applicants: student aid and service obligations.

Federal Student Aid Requirements
To be eligible for the TEACH grant, you must meet the basic eligibility requirements for federal student aid, including:

Demonstrate financial need
Be a U.S. citizen (or eligible non-citizen)
Have a social security number.
Register with the Selective Service (mostly male)
Maintain satisfactory academic progress as defined by your school.
Show You Are Qualified For Higher Education
Sign the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) Certification Statement
teaching service requirements
The TEACH program requires you to meet the following teaching parameters:

Work in a Low Income School: Qualified K-12 and Low Income Educational Services Agencies can be found in the Low Income Teacher Termination Directory (TCLI Directory).

Teach in a high-need area: More than half of your classes must be in a high-need area, according to the National Area Teacher Shortage List (updated annually).

Be a highly qualified teacher: Teachers must meet several requirements to be considered "highly qualified," which vary depending on whether you teach in a public or private school.

Four Years of Service: You will have to work as a full-time teacher for four years at a qualified school, teaching a qualified subject.

Full service within eight years of graduation - In most cases, you will need to complete four years of service within eight years of graduation.

There are exceptions to the eight-year limit. For example, if you earn your bachelor's degree and enroll in a master's program, you can request suspension of the eight-year period until you finish your graduate studies.

How to apply for the TEACH scholarship

If you are interested in the TEACH scholarship, check with the financial aid offices of the schools you are considering to see if they offer it. Then complete and submit the FAFSA to apply. Your offer of support will let you know if the school of your choice offers the TEACH Grant and the amount available to you.

Each year that you accept a TEACH scholarship, you will need to undergo an initial TEACH scholarship and subsequent counseling to learn the details of the service obligation.

You will also need to sign the TEACH Grant Agreement to provide services or repay each TEACH grant you receive. Additionally, when you graduate or withdraw from school, you must complete the TEACH Scholarship exit counseling.


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