Students who intend to teach full time in a high-need field at a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families may apply for a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant.
Recipients must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you receive the TEACH Grant:
- Teach full time in a high-need field for the majority of the classes you teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families
- High-need fields (subject to change):
- Bilingual education
- English language acquisition
- Foreign language
- Reading specialist
- Special education
- Other identified high-need fields that are teacher subject shortage areas listed in the U.S. Department of Education's Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing
- Schools serving low-income students: any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the U.S. Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits
- High-need fields (subject to change):
- Be classified as a highly qualified teacher as defined in section 9101 (23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended. For special education teachers, highly qualified is defined in section 602 (10) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
Effective July 1, 2010, if the field you will be teaching in was designated as a high-need field when you received the TEACH grant but is not when you begin to teach, you still can fulfill your service obligation by teaching in that field.
The field you teach in must be a high-need field in the state where you teach in order to satisfy your service requirements. For example, if music is a high-need field in Texas but not in Montana and you teach music in Montana, it will not satisfy your service obligation.
If you fail to complete the service obligation:
- The entire grant will be converted to a Federal Direct unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loan, which you MUST REPAY.
- You will be charged interest from the date the grant was disbursed.
In order to be eligible for this grant, you must:
- complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need;
- be attending a college that meets the program’s academic requirements and be currently completing, or plan on completing, coursework necessary to begin a career in teaching (graduate degree alternatives exist for teachers or retirees with experience in a teacher shortage area);
- have a grade point average of at least 3.25 for each payment period;
- score above the 75th percentile on an admissions test (such as the SAT, ACT or GRE);
- sign a statement certifying that you understand the terms of the grant and the terms of your teaching service requirements; and
- be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
Suspension and discharge of service obligation
If you are called or ordered to active military duty, you (or your representative) may request a suspension of the 8-year period in increments not exceeding three years. Once you have exceeded the 3-year suspension period, you may request a discharge of all or a portion of your teaching service obligation.
Your service obligation will be discharged (canceled) if you die or become totally and permanently disabled and meet other requirements. You must apply for disability discharge through the U.S. Department of Education.
Annual/ Aggregate Amounts
- $4000 annual maximum *
- $16,000 undergraduate aggregate limit (includes postsecondary certification).
- $8,000 graduate aggregate limit.
*For any 2017â??18 TEACH Grant first disbursed between 10/1/17-9/30/18, the maximum award of $4,000 is reduced by 6.6 percent ($264), resulting in a maximum award of $3,736.
For more information
- Talk to your high school guidance counselor.
- Contact your college's financial aid office.
- Call the U.S. Department of Education at 1-800-4-FED-AID (433-3243).
- Visit the Student Aid on the Web TEACH Grant page