The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) provides $4,000 per year to undergraduate and graduate students who agree to teach full-time for at least four of the eight years after graduation as a highly-qualified teacher in a high-need field at an elementary or secondary school (or educational service agency) serving low-income students.
To be eligible for a TEACH Grant, the student must score above the 75th percentile on at least one component of a college admissions test or maintain at least a 3.25 grade point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. The student must enroll in an eligible program of study that leads to a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree (or a post-baccalaureate certificate if the school does not offer an eligible Bachelor’s degree program) and prepares the student for teaching in a high-need field.
TEACH Grant recipients are required to undergo TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling and sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.
High-need fields include bilingual education, English language acquisition, foreign languages, reading specialist, special education, science and mathematics. High-need fields also include any other field identified as high need by a local education agency or by a federal or state government, if that field is listed in the Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing.
Elementary and secondary schools (and educational service agencies) serving low-income students are listed in the Teacher Cancellation Low-Income Directory. Elementary and secondary schools operated by, funded by or under contract to the Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) also qualify as schools serving low-income students.
Consequences of Failure to Fulfill the Service Requirement
If the student receives a TEACH Grant for both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, a single four-year period of teaching in the applicable high need area satisfies the service requirements for both the undergraduate and graduate TEACH Grants.
If the student does not complete the service requirement, the TEACH Grant funds are retroactively converted into an unsubsidized Federal Stafford loan, with interest accruing from the date of first disbursement. Thus, the TEACH Grant is not really a grant, but a forgivable loan.
The 8-year period may be suspended in certain circumstances, such as medical leave or if the recipient is called to full-time active-duty status for more than 30 days as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, Reserves or National Guard in connection with a war, military operation or national emergency.