Sponsors
TEACH Grant
16th July 2012 | Grants

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH) is a merit based grant offered by the Department of Education. It is not dependent on financial need. The TEACH Grant is offered to students seeking a bachelor or graduate degree and are committed to serving as a full time teacher for 4 years. The conditions of this service are: you serve in a private or public school or an educational service agency that serves low income families and you teach in a high needs area for over half (51% or more) of your teaching hours. You will have eight years after your graduation to complete your 4 years of required teaching. If you fail to complete these 4 years of teaching your grant will be converted into a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

Schools serving low income families can be found here:

https://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp

In July 2010, it was decided a student would not have to worry if the high need area he studied is no longer considered a high need area upon his graduation. The Department of Education will allow a student to fulfill their teaching obligation in the subject in which he specialized. This is true whether or not that subject is still considered a high needs area. If you receive a TEACH Grant for more than one program you will need to teach for 4 years for EACH program. It does not matter whether you withdraw from any program you receive a TEACH Grant for, you are still required to complete the 4 year teaching obligation.

It is possible for the 4 year teaching requirement to be suspended in specific circumstances or canceled in extreme ones. In order for your teaching requirements to be suspended you must: a) be returning to school and enrolling in a program that is eligible for the TEACH Grant; b) fall under one of the terms in the Family and Medical Leave Act that qualifies you for leave; or c) are called to active duty in the military or National Guard for 30 days or more. Suspensions are only good for one year and you cannot have more than 3 consecutive suspensions, totaling 3 years. A cancellation of the 4 year teaching requirement can occur for three reasons: you die, you become permanently disabled and are unable to teach as a result, or you are called to active duty in the military or National Guard for 3 or more years.

If your grant does end up being turned into a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan you will need to pay back the full amount of the grant plus interest. The interest will be back dated to the day you first received the grant. Being back dated means the interest will start building up from the day you first received the grant.  From the day the grant is converted into a loan, you will have a 6 month grace period before you have to start paying back the loan.

For more information visit: http://www.cgu.edu/PDFFiles/TEACHGrant.pdf or

http://www.tcnj.edu/~sfs/aid/documents/teachgrant_factsheet.pdf

 

Eligibility

The TEACH Grant does not only have eligibility requirements for a student applying for the grant but also during the student’s school career and the first eight years after the student graduates. If at any time the students violates the eligibility requirements the TEACH Grant can and will be converted into a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan with interest added.

 

To Apply

  • You must be a US citizen or eligible non-citizen with a valid social security number.
  • If you are a male, who is between 18 and 25, you must register with the Selective Service. To find out more about Selective Service or to register visit: http://www.sss.gov
  • You must have a high school diploma, GED, or another alternative approved by the state.
  • You must be seeking a degree and enrolled in an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate program. The program you are enrolled in must be participating in the TEACH Grant program. An eligible program at one school may or may not be an eligible program at another school. You must contact a school directly to find out which of their programs are participating in the TEACH Grant program.
  • You must achieve a certain academic standing. This standard usually requires the student to score, if just entering college, at least in the 75th percentile on standardized admission tests such as the SAT. If the student is already in college the academic standard is to have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25.

 

During School

  • You must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. If your GPA slips below this level then you will not receive any more money until your cumulative GPA returns to 3.25.
  • You need to be enrolled in a program or courses that will allow you to teach in a high needs area. Current high needs areas include: English language acquisition, foreign languages, maths, becoming a reading specialist, sciences, and Special Education.

 

After Graduation

  • Once you have graduated you need to, within 120 days, write to the Secretary of Education. In this letter you must a) confirm you have a job as a full time teacher which meets the requirements of the TEACH Agreement to Serve; or b) write that you have yet to find a full time job that meets the requirements but you still intend to fulfill your side of the agreement.
  • After you complete each year of your teaching requirement you must send in certification from the chief administrative officer of the school you worked at. This certificate needs to confirm that you worked full time for the full year.

 

You will also have to meet any other requirements imposed by the Department of Education.

 

Application Process

To apply for the TEACH Grant you need to fill out an FAFSA (Federal Application For Student Aid). You can submit your application via paper or internet. When filling out the FAFSA, it is important to fill in all the information thoroughly. Make sure to follow all directions. You are going to have to submit additional documents with your application. These will include copies of your: social security card, drivers license, W-2 forms, income tax returns, bank statements, etc. There is a complete list given in the FAFSA.

Once you have submitted your FAFSA you can track it by going to: http://www.pin.ed.gov/PINWebApp/pinindex.jsp.  Once at the website you can apply for a Federal Student Aid PIN number.  This PIN number can be used to track your FAFSA application as well as apply electronically each subsequent year.

Once the FAFSA has been processed, both you and the colleges you have written down will receive a Student Aid Report.  This report will contain your Expected Family Contributions.  This is the amount your family is expected to contribute to your education.  The report will also contain a Data Release Number.  It is important to remember this number because you will need it if you ever want to go back and change your information. You will need to fill out the FAFSA every year.

The FAFSA can be found here: http://www.fafsa.ed.gov/

Besides filling out the FAFSA, you will also need complete the TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling and the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve. The TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling is a 45 minute online course.  This course must be completed before you are able to sign the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve or are eligible to receive funds. You can complete the TEACH Grant counseling by going to: https://teach-ats.ed.gov/ats/studentHome.action. Once on the website you need to sign in using your Federal Student Aid PIN number and click on the “START NEW COUNSELING” button.

The purpose of the counseling course is to explain the TEACH Grant program and the 4 year teaching requirement. Before you can begin counseling you are going to have to provide the year you received the TEACH Grant and the name of the school you are attending. The counseling is broken down into four parts: an overview of the program; an explanation of the Agreement to Serve; an explanation of the Service Obligation, and an explanation on converting the TEACH Grant into a Federal Student Loan. Each part of the course is followed by a quiz. Counseling must be completed each year you receive funds from the TEACH Grant.

At any time during the counseling course you may leave to view other parts of the TEACH website and not lose the progress you have made. However, if you leave the TEACH Grant website or log out you will have to restart the counseling course. Once you have finished the TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling you have a choice. You can either to go directly to the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) or you can leave the TEACH website and complete it later.

The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve must be completed each year after completing the TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling course. Like the counseling course, you can complete the ATS by going to: https://teach-ats.ed.gov/ats/studentHome.action and signing in using your Federal Student Aid PIN number. Once signed in, you click on “START NEW ATS” and it will take approximately 30 minutes to complete. The ATS has four steps: School Information, Student Information, Review Draft, and Submit.

The school information step is easy to complete. The information required, the year you received the TEACH Grant and the name of the school you attend, is taken directly from the information provided during the Initial and Subsequent Counseling course. You simply need to review the information to ensure it is correct and move to the next step. For the Student Information step you will need to fill in your contact information and two references. The references must have different addresses here in the USA and you must have known both for at least 3 years.

The review draft step requires that you read and agree to all the terms and conditions in the ATS. After you have done that you must sign the Agreement to Serve. In the last step, submit, you must review and insure all the information in the ATS is correct. Once done, simply click submit and the ATS is complete.

The school you are attending may have its own forms it will require you to fill out to apply for the TEACH Grant. As an example, the University of Arizona has such forms. They can be found here:

http://financialaid.arizona.edu/grants/teach

 

Award Amount

The TEACH Grant awards up to $4, 000 per year to all eligible students. Students who are enrolled for less than full time will receive less than the full amount of the Grant as is deemed appropriate. The TEACH Grant cannot exceed the cost to attend school.

There are limits to the amount of grant money a student can receive. Undergraduates and Post-baccalaureate students will receive up to $16, 000. Graduate students will receive up to $8, 000. There is also a lifetime TEACH Grant limit of $24, 000.

 

Conclusion

The Department of Education funds a grant for students interested in teaching in a high needs area, it is called the TEACH Grant. It is available to both undergraduate and graduate students. However, when you apply for the TEACH Grant you also agree to teach for 4 years in a high need area and in a school or educational service agency that serves low income families. The eligibility requirements for this grant are tough. They span from the time you first apply, with the regular application requirements, to after you graduate, with work requirements. If you break any of the eligibility requirements at any time after you receive the grant it will be converted into a Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan with interest. If emergencies do come up, the 4 year teaching requirement can be suspended or canceled.

If you decide you want to apply for this grant you need to fill out an FAFSA as well as completing a TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling and the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve. If your application is accepted, you will receive up to $4,000 depending on your enrollment status and the cost to attend school. You can only receive a maximum of $24,000 in TEACH Grants.