TEACH Grants

What you should know before you apply

For prospective teachers, applying for the Teacher Education Assistance for the College and Higher Education grant is an excellent avenue to take to help afford college as well as to acquire job experience. TEACH programs offer opportunities to work at elementary schools, secondary schools, or educational service agencies that serve low ­income and underprivileged students. Since TEACH offers grants to students, they do not need to be repaid. Grants are essentially “free money” from the federal government. However, it is important to understand what the requirements for TEACH grants are to avoid having these grants turn into long term loan debt.

The Basics of TEACH grants
TEACH grants may be worth up to $4,000 depending on the type of grant and program offered. Before making the decision to apply for these grants, there are a few things you need to know to fit the requirements. TEACH grants are restricted to students who are studying to be teachers. They require hands on work in elementary schools, secondary schools, or working at an educational service agency. The aim of these programs is to serve children of low­income families, while assisting students with financial aid. In short, TEACH gives crucial hands on job training to students while also serving the community.

Who is eligible for TEACH?
As with all federal financial aid, students must complete the FAFSA in order to receive the TEACH grant. In order to be eligible, students cannot have any loans that are in default. Another requirement is that they must attend a school that participates in the TEACH grant program.

What happens if a student does not qualify for the TEACH grant?
If the student does not qualify for the TEACH grant, then the money that they were granted turns into an unsubsidized Stafford loan. This means that they will have to repay the loan in full along with an interest of 6.8%. Students who have already filled out the application and made the commitment to service should stick to the program in order to avoid having to pay back the loan. Unfortunately, once a grant becomes a loan, it cannot be turned back to being a grant. However, there is a chance that the borrower can suspend or cancel the service obligation if they meet specific requirements.

How to apply
As with all other federal financial aid, students need to apply for the FAFSA. In addition to applying for FAFSA, they would need to complete an agreement to serve as well as complete the required Teach Grant Counseling.

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