As you’ve probably learned by now, school is expensive. You can imagine the number of financial headaches that come along with choosing to teach as your profession. The average teacher makes around $60K. That’s not very much. With so little income from so much time put into learning and spending, how can a teacher hope to pay back their student loans without making life uncomfortable? There is a solution, and it’s called a TEACH Grant.
What is a TEACH Grant
TEACH stands for Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education. It’s a grant that differs from an average grant, in that there are very specific requirements for you to receive it and maintain it. This means should you not maintain these requirements, the grant will convert to a student loan, and suddenly you must pay.
How do I get it?
In order to qualify for the grant, you must make sure you have a few things in order. First, make sure you are actually eligible for financial aid. Second, be enrolled in a school that has a TEACH Grant program. Obviously, you’ll need to enroll in the TEACH Grant program itself. Third, be in the “75th percentile on one or more portions of a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25.” Fourth, get TEACH Grant counseling so you understand what’s required of you. Counseling needs to be completed each year you get the grant. Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.
So, how much do I get?
Ah, the most important question. The TEACH Grant offers up to “$4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching.” This is according to the FSA (Federal Student Aid).
What are my obligations?
As stated before, should you not meet certain criteria, the grant will be turned into a loan. According to the FSA, you need to work four consecutive school years within eight years of your ceasing school. This is only for the schooling the grant was intended for. You can’t get the grant for math, for example, and then go into basket weaving. Where you teach must be considered a low-income school. The area you teach must be considered a high-need area. All this while, you must submit progress reports to ensure you’re doing what you’re supposed to.
While this isn’t a slam dunk, it is at least worth looking into if teaching is a direction you’re interested in or you know someone who is leaning towards that vocation. It might not cover everything, but it could help out a lot.