Federal student aid is generally allocated to those with a financial need or in a special circumstance, but students going to school for teaching can be an exception to that rule. This grant, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, rewards recipients with $4,000 a year for four years, saving you from $16,000 of school loans.
You may be thinking, “Free money, that is not based on financial need…is there a catch?”
Yes—Post graduation, you must serve a four-year term as a full-time teacher in a primary, middle, or secondary school in a high-need field and in a low-income community. If you fail to complete that obligation within eight years of graduation, the grant will turn into a loan. Other eligibility requirements include that your school must participate in the TEACH Grant Program and you must score above the 75th percentile on one or more portions of a college admissions test or maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25. Also, although this Grant is not reserved for those who have the most financial need, your education costs must outweigh your expected family contribution, so submitting the FAFSA is required.
If you are interested in seeing what subjects and which schools you could teach at, click here to see the Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing.
Though you may be in a less desirable location for a few years, this opportunity would greatly reduce your school debt, and following the four-year service term, you would have the experience to re-locate to a more competitive area.