TEACH Grant Program
The U.S. Department of Education’s TEACH Grant Program provides grant funds to postsecondary students who are completing coursework that is needed to begin a career in teaching, and who agree to serve for at least four years as a full-time, highly qualified teacher in a high-need field, in a school serving low-income students. Eligible full-time students may receive $3,708 per year in TEACH Grant funds.
If you receive a TEACH Grant but do not complete the required four years of teaching service within eight years after completing the coursework for which you received the grant, or if you otherwise do not meet the requirements of the TEACH Grant Program, all TEACH Grant funds that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford/Ford Loan (Direct Unsubsidized Loan) that you must repay in full, with interest, to the Department. Once a TEACH Grant is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.
Student Eligibility Requirements
To receive a TEACH Grant you must:
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
Be enrolled in a credential program in a high-need field leading towards teaching in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.
High need fields are the specific subject areas listed below:
Special Education (early childhood, mild/moderate, moderate/severe)
Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25).
Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.
In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students. As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant.
Schools Serving Low-income Students
Review the US Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits
Schools Designated as Low-income for Part of a School Year
If the school where you teach meets the requirements of a low-income school during all or a part of a school year of your required four school years of teaching, but does not meet those requirements in subsequent school years, those subsequent years of teaching at that school will still qualify for purposes of satisfying your TEACH Grant service obligation.
Schools Operated by Bureau of Indian Education (BIE)
All elementary and secondary schools operated by the U.S. 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.
If you fail to complete this service obligation, all amounts of the TEACH Grants that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date the grant(s) was disbursed.
TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve
After completing the initial application steps, for each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve that is available electronically on the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve web site. The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed.
Specifically, the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve will require the following:
For each TEACH Grant-eligible program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, you must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight calendar years after you completed or withdrew from the academic program for which you received the TEACH Grant.
You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher at a low-income school. The term highly-qualified teacher is defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or in section 602(10) of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
Your teaching service must be in a high-need field.
You must comply with any other requirements that the Department of Education determines to be necessary.
If you do not complete the required teaching service obligation, TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that you must repay, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
If you receive a TEACH Grant but do not complete the required teaching service, as explained above, you will be required to repay the grants as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement. For other information, visit our resources page.
If you are interested in learning more about the TEACH Grant Program, please see Steps to Follow.
This page provides a preliminary summary of the TEACH Grant Program based on the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. The information on this page is subject to change and is not binding on the Department of Education.