The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is a program that provides up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years (within an eight-year period) at schools that serve students from low-income families. Grant highlights include the following:
- Undergraduates preparing to teach in a high-need subject area may receive up to four years of non-need grants of $4000 per year ($16,000 total).
- Graduate students in School of Education licensure or endorsement programs focused on high-need areas are eligible for 2 years of funding at $4,000 per year ($8,000 total).
- Part-time graduate students preparing to teach in high-need areas are also eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced.
The TEACH Grant actually functions like a loan with a forgiveness component. You receive the money like a grant while in school. If you do not fulfill the obligations of the grant, it will convert to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that you must repay, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
To receive a TEACH Grant you must:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not need to demonstrate financial need
- Meet the eligibility requirements for federal student aid which can be found by following this link.
- Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in the School of Education
- Meet one of the following academic achievement requirements:
- Score above the 75th percentile on SATs, ACTs, or GREs, OR
- Have and maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) on college coursework.
- Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and respond to requests by the U.S. Department of Education confirming your continuing intention to meet the teaching obligation. This form is available through the University’s Office of Financial Aid.
High-need areas include:
- Bilingual education and English language acquisition
- Foreign language
- Reading specialist
- Special education
- Other identified teacher shortage areas listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing, which can be found on the web at http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.doc.
Schools Serving Low-Income Students
Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.
Teach Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve AND complete the Department of Education’s online counseling session. You can access both these online forms at https://studentaid.gov/app/launchTeach.action. The Agreement to Serve specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded and the teaching service requirements. It also includes an acknowledgement 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.
To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant with interest, you must:
Serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight calendar years after you complete or withdraw from the academic program for which you have received the TEACH Grant. To qualify as a full-time teacher, you must meet the state’s definition of full-time status and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching one of the high-need subject areas.
Perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher at a low-income school. The federal government’s definition of “highly qualified” is available at this link. Schools serving low-Income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.
Comply with any other requirements that the Department of Education determines to be necessary. For example, you will be sent written requests for information or documentation. These requests will be sent to you while you are still in school as well as once you are out of school.
You will be asked annually to confirm that you either still intend to teach or that you are teaching as required. You must provide documentation to the U.S. Department of Education at the end of each year of teaching. If you temporarily cease enrollment in your program of study or if you encounter situations that affect your ability to begin or continue teaching, you will need to stay in touch with the U.S. Department of Education to avoid having your grants converted to loans before you are able to complete your teaching obligation. 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.
How to Apply
All students must reapply for financial aid every year.
Apply for a U.S. Department of Education Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) if you don’t already have one. Your FSA ID will allow you to electronically “sign” financial aid applications and federal loan promissory notes. Apply for an FSA ID online at StudentAid.gov.
Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For the quickest and most accurate processing, students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA (Follow this link for a Spanish version of the FAFSA). The University of Virginia's school code for the FAFSA is 003745.
Some returning students will be required to complete the University Financial Aid Application. Please check for "To Do" items in your Student Information System (SIS) account. If you have an item titled UVA Financial Aid Application, go to the Financials section of SIS and click on the link called "Apply Financial Aid for 2020-21". Complete this form so that we may process your financial aid.
Graduate students will be required to complete the University Financial Aid Application. Please check for "To Do" items in your Student Information System (SIS) account. If you have an item titled UVA Financial Aid Application, go to the Financials section of SIS and click on the link called "Apply for Financial Aid 2020-21". Complete this form so that we may process your financial aid.
How the process will work
Student Financial Services will submit your eligibility information to the School of Education for confirmation. Upon receipt of the confirmation and the completion of all Department of Education documents, the TEACH Grant will be disbursed. Within 14 days of disbursement, students may cancel the TEACH Grant without penalty if the student notifies Student Financial Services using our Financial Aid Change Form. Undergraduates will use the Undergraduate Decrease form while graduate students will use the Graduate Financial Aid Change Form.
For More Information
If you are interested in learning more about the TEACH Grant Program, contact Debbie Davis, Graduate Financial Aid Administrator, at [email protected].