Important information about the Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant. Free federal grant for eligible students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who agree to teach for four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families and to meet other requirements. The terms and conditions of this teaching service obligation are explained in the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve that you must sign before you receive a TEACH Grant (see "What is the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve?" below). IMPORTANT: If you do not complete your service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education (ED), with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grant was disbursed (paid out).
A TEACH-Grant-eligible program is a program of study that is designed to prepare you to teach as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need field and that leads to a bachelor's or master's degree, or is a post-baccalaureate program. A two-year program that is acceptable for full credit toward a bachelor's degree is considered a program that leads to a bachelor's degree. A post-baccalaureate program is a program for students who have already earned a bachelor's degree that (1) does not lead to a graduate degree, (2) is treated as an undergraduate program, and (3) consists of courses required by a state in order for you to receive a certification or license to teach in an elementary or secondary school in that state. A post-baccalaureate program is not TEACH-Grant eligible if it is offered by a school that also offers a bachelor's degree in education. Schools that participate in the TEACH Grant Program determine which of the programs they offer are TEACH-Grant-eligible. A program that is TEACH Grant eligible at one school might not be TEACH Granteligible at another school. Contact the financial aid office at the school you are attending (or that you plan to attend) to find out which programs at that school are eligible.
Each year that you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign an Agreement to Serve on ED's TEACH Grant website at http://teach-ats.ed.gov. The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve explains the terms and conditions of the service obligation you must agree to fulfill as a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant. By signing the Agreement to Serve, you agree to these terms and conditions and acknowledge your understanding that if you do not fulfill the service obligation, the TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a loan that you must repay.
In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to the following:
High-need fields are bilingual education and English language acquisition, foreign language, mathematics, reading specialist, science, and special education, as well as any other field that has been identified as high-need by the federal government, a state government, or a local education agency, and that is included in ED's annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing (Nationwide List). If you are planning to teach in a high-need field that is included in the Nationwide List, that field must be listed for the state where you teach either at the time you begin your qualifying teaching service or at the time you received a TEACH Grant. To view, the Nationwide List, please click here.
Elementary and secondary schools (public and private) and educational service agencies serving low-income students are listed in ED's annual "Teacher Cancellation Low-Income Directory." To access the directory, visit http://www.tcli.ed.gov and click on the "Search" button. In addition, elementary or secondary schools operated by the Department of the Interior's Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) or operated on Indian reservations by Indian tribal groups under contract or grant with the BIE qualify as low-income schools.
You may request a temporary suspension of the eight-year period for completing your TEACH Grant service obligation based on:
Suspensions are granted in one-year increments, not to exceed a combined total of three years for the first two conditions listed above, or a total of three years for the third condition. If you receive a suspension, the eight-year period for completing your service obligation is put "on hold" during the suspension period. For example, if you receive a one-year suspension after two years of the eight-year period for completing your service obligation have elapsed, you would have six years left to complete your service obligation when the one-year suspension period ends. Your TEACH Grant service obligation may be canceled (discharged) if you die or if you become totally and permanently disabled. You may also receive a discharge of some or all of your four-year teaching requirement if you are called or ordered to qualifying military active duty for a period that exceeds three years. For more information, please click here.