TEACH Grant

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The U.S. Department of Education’s (the Department’s) Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) Program awards grants to students who intend to teach, to help pay for their postsecondary education. As a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to teach full-time for at least four years as a highly-qualified teacher in a high-need field, in a school or educational service agency (ESA) serving low-income students. You must complete the four years of teaching within eight years after you complete or otherwise cease to be enrolled in the program of study for which you received the grant. If you do not meet the terms of your TEACH Grant service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds that you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program that you must repay in full, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement. The Department’s TEACH Grant servicer oversees your grant account until you meet your service obligation for each grant. The TEACH Grant servicer is currently, FedLoan Servicing.

If you are enrolled full- time, you can receive up to $4,000 each year in TEACH Grant funds, up to a maximum of:

  • $16,000 for undergraduate and/or post baccalaureate study, and
  • $8,000 for graduate study. 

How can I receive the TEACH Grant?

  • Meet the basic eligibility criteria for the federal student aid programs.
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®).
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, or graduate student at a school that participates in the TEACH Grant Program. 
  • Be enrolled in a TEACH-Grant-eligible program.
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on one or more portions of a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25). For specific information about the academic requirements, talk to the financial aid office at your college or career school.
  • Complete TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling, and
  • Complete an Agreement to Serve (ATS).

What is a Highly-Qualified Teacher?

You must perform your teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher. The term highly-qualified teacher is defined:

  • In section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, or
  • If you are a special education teacher, in section 602(10) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

For more information about the requirements for being a highly-qualified teacher, please visit U.S Department of Education.   

What Schools and Educational Services Agencies Serve Low-Income Students?

You must teach at an elementary or secondary school (public or private) or educational service agency (ESA) that serves low-income students (low-income school or ESA). These schools and ESAs are listed in the Department’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits (Low-Income School Directory). Any elementary or secondary school operated by the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education (BIE), or operated on an Indian reservation by an Indian tribal group under contract or grant with the BIE, also qualifies as a low-income school. A list of these schools is available in the BIE Directory at http://www.bie.edu/Schools/index.htm.

If the school or ESA where you teach qualifies as a low-income school/ESA for all or part of one of your required four years of teaching, but does not qualify as a low-income school/ESA during subsequent school years, your subsequent years of teaching will still count for purposes of satisfying your TEACH Grant service obligation.

An educational service agency is a regional public multiservice agency (not a private organization) that is authorized by state law to develop, manage, and provide services or programs to local education agencies, (such as public school districts).

To search the Department’s Low-Income School Directory, please visit Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory.

What are TEACH Grant High-Need Fields?

More than half of the classes you teach during each school year must be in a high-need field. For purposes of the TEACH Grant program, high-need fields are:

  • Mathematics;
  • Science;
  • Foreign language;
  • Bilingual education;
  • English language acquisition;
  • Special education;
  • Multiple subject (self-contained class);
  • Reading specialist; or
  • 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 the Department’s annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing (Nationwide Listing). If you are planning to teach in a high-need field that is included in the Nationwide Listing, that field must be listed for the state where you teach either:
  • At the time you begin your qualifying teaching service in that field after you have completed or otherwise ceased to be enrolled in the program for which you received the TEACH Grant (even if the field later loses its high-need designation for the state where you are teaching); or
  • During any award year in which you receive a TEACH Grant, even if that field is no longer designated as high-need when you begin teaching.

To search the Nationwide Listing, please visit: Teacher Shortage Areas

Note: The Nationwide Listing includes both subject areas and geographic shortage areas. To qualify based on teaching in a high-need field that is included in the Nationwide Listing, you must teach in a listed subject shortage area, not a geographic shortage area.

Still have questions? Visit the TEACH Grant FAQ

After School

When you complete or otherwise leave your TEACH eligible program of study, you need to:

  • Teach full-time as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need field at an eligible low-income elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency for at least 4 academic years.
  • Complete the required 4 years of teaching within 8 years of completing or otherwise leaving your TEACH Grant program of study.
  • Certify, with the Federal Loan Servicing Center, within 120 days of completing or otherwise leaving your TEACH Grant program of study, and each year thereafter, that you are meeting (or intend to meet*) the requirements of your service obligation.

If you don't meet these requirements, your TEACH Grants may be converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans that you'll have to repay in full, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement. For more information about your teaching obligation, review your Agreement to Serve.

Still have questions? Visit the After School FAQ.

Once you complete the program for which you've received the TEACH Grant or your enrollment status drops below half-time, complete the TEACH Grant Exit Counseling.

*Important information if you did not complete the program for which you received your TEACH Grants: Keep in mind that, as explained in your Agreement to Serve, if you do not complete your TEACH Grant program of study, you must do one of the following within 1 year after you leave school:

  • Qualify for a temporary suspension of the period for completing your service obligation;
  • Re-enroll in another TEACH Grant eligible program of study; or
  • Begin qualifying teaching service.

If you do not meet one of these requirements, your TEACH Grants will be converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans.

TEACH Grant Servicers

  • You must complete TEACH Grant counseling and sign a new TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) each year that you receive a TEACH Grant.
  • The TEACH Grant servicer will communicate with you regarding your TEACH Grant and track your progress in meeting your service obligation.
  • You must keep the TEACH Grant servicer informed of your status.
  • Within 120 days you complete or otherwise cease to be enrolled in the program for which you received a TEACH Grant, you must notify the TEACH Grant Servicing Center in writing of your employment status.
  • In the event that your TEACH Grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, your loan will be serviced by a federal loan servicer.
  • The National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) contains information about all Title IV loans you have received, including the TEACH Grants that have been converted to Direct Unsubsidized Loans. Visit NSLDS.

Contacting the TEACH Grant servicer

Address:
U.S. Department of Education
TEACH Grant servicer
P.O. Box 69184
Harrisburg, PA 17106-9184

TEACH Grant servicer Phone Numbers:

Other Resources

Complete Entrance Counseling and Agreement to Serve