The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is a federal financial aid program that helps with the cost of college for those considering a career as a teacher. The TEACH Grant Program provides funds to students who are completing or who plan to complete coursework that is required to begin a career in teaching, and agree to teach full time for at least four years at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families and to meet other requirements.

To receive a TEACH Grant, you agree to teach a highly needed subject in a low-income area where there exists a shortage of subject teachers in elementary or secondary school. Once awarded a TEACH grant, recipients can get up to $4,000 a year while in school. Once recipients are teaching, they are paid just as they would be without a TEACH Grant.

In order to be eligible for a TEACH grant, applicants need to be eligible for federal student aid programs. Your school must also participate in, and you need to be enrolled in, a TEACH Grant-eligible program of study. There are a number of eligible subject areas for which you can receive a TEACH Grant:

  • bilingual education and English language acquisition
  • foreign language
  • mathematics
  • reading specialist
  • science
  • special education
  • any other field that has been identified as high-need by the federal or state government, or a local education agency
  • after school

In order to receive a TEACH grant, you need to score above the 75th percentile on one or more portions of a college admissions test or maintain at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average. After receiving the grant, you are also required to supply documentation of your position to the Department of Education.

How to apply

Applying for a TEACH Grant is just like applying for any federal financial aid—submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You can submit the FAFSA beginning October 1; earlier is better, since funds are first-come, first-served. Applicants will be notified of a TEACH Grant in their financial aid award letter.

You need to apply for a TEACH Grant every year by submitting the FAFSA. You also need to complete TEACH Grant counseling and sign a new Agreement to Serve every year. For more information on receiving a TEACH Grant, contact your school’s financial aid office. Make sure that the school participates in the program, and learn about the areas of study that are eligible for the program.

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, with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grant was disbursed (paid to you or on your behalf).