What is a TEACH Grant? If you're interested in becoming a teacher, it's a way to get money for school. The grant will pay a good portion of your tuition if you qualify, but you'll have to meet certain requirements in college and after you graduate.
How Much Is It?
When asking about what a TEACH Grant is, you're probably wondering how much financial aid you'll receive from it throughout your college career. As long as you meet certain requirements, you may be eligible for $4,000 of aid each year. This means that the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant could be worth up to $16,000. Since it's a grant, the money is yours – you won't have to pay it back. While you could get up to $4,000 per year, though, you won't get as much if your cost of attendance is already covered by other grants or scholarships. If you're going to be an undergraduate student, you'll be able to receive the grant for a maximum of four years – if it takes you over that amount of time to graduate with a bachelor's degree, you won't get financial help beyond your fourth year of school.
Am I Eligible?
Once you know what a TEACH Grant is and how much it's worth, you'll want to make sure that you're eligible for the program. To find a detailed list of requirements, you can visit the Federal Student Aid website. You can only get the grant if you enroll in an eligible program, so ask your school about which programs you can take to get it. Eligible programs of study need to prepare you to teach in a high-need area, so you may be able to major in education, math, many of the sciences or even a foreign language. To keep receiving your grant money, there are also academic requirements that you'll have to meet. The requirements vary by school, but don't be surprised if you have to maintain a certain grade point average or earn a certain number of credits per semester. Some schools require incoming students to score well on standardized tests or entrance exams before being approved for the TEACH Grant.
What Happens After I Graduate?
After you learn what a TEACH Grant is and find out whether you're eligible for the program or not, you need to think about post-graduate requirements. After you get your degree, you'll have to spend at least four out of the next eight years of your life teaching at a low-income school, and you must teach in a high-need field. If you can do this, you'll never have to repay your grants, but if you don't meet the requirement, all of your grant money will turn into a federal unsubsidized loan, and you'll have to pay everything back – including interest. There are many positions out there that are in low-income areas, so as long as you have a willing mind, it should be easy to fulfill your agreement.
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College is expensive, and while you can make a decent salary by teaching, you should keep your school loans to a minimum. By learning what a TEACH Grant is and making informed decisions, you can save a lot of money.