Understand the TEACH Grant

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is a federal financial aid program that can help you pay for college if you’re considering a career as a teacher.

What is the TEACH Grant program

To receive a TEACH Grant, you agree to teach a highly needed subject in a low-income area where there’s a shortage of specific subject teachers in an elementary or secondary school. If you’re awarded a grant, you can get up to $4,000 a year while you’re in school. When you’re teaching, you’ll be paid, just as you would without a TEACH Grant.

There are a number of eligible subject areas for which you can receive a TEACH Grant:

  • bilingual education and English language acquisition
  • foreign language
  • mathematics
  • reading specialist
  • science
  • special education
  • any other field that has been identified as high-need by the federal or state government, or a local education agency

After school

  • You must teach at a low-income school or educational agency.
  • You need to teach for at least four years in an approved school.
  • You need to supply documentation of your position to the Department of Education.

What makes you eligible for a TEACH Grant

There are a number of eligibility requirements for a TEACH Grant:

  • You need to be eligible for federal student aid programs.
  • You’re eligible if you’re an undergrad or graduate student.
  • Your school must participate in, and you need to be enrolled in, a TEACH Grant-eligible program of study.

Academic requirements

You need to score above the 75th percentile on one or more portions of a college admissions test or maintain at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average.

How to apply for a TEACH Grant

You apply for a TEACH Grant as you would for any federal financial aid—by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA®). You can submit the FAFSA beginning in December, and you may want to reach out to the financial aid office about eligibility, as different schools can determine eligibility differently. You’ll find out if you’ve been given a TEACH Grant in your financial aid offer.

You’ll need to apply for a TEACH Grant every year by submitting the FAFSA. You’ll also need to complete TEACH Grant counseling and sign a new Agreement to Serve every year.

Every year you receive the grant, you’ll have to

  • Complete TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling (TEACH Grant counseling).
  • Complete an Agreement to Serve (ATS), which states the conditions of your grant, your teaching commitment, and what the penalties are if you don’t uphold your part of the agreement. Learn more about the ATS.

For more information on receiving a TEACH Grant, contact your school’s financial aid office. Make sure that the school participates in the program, and learn about the areas of study that are eligible for the program.

Related topics

footnote FAFSA is a registered service mark of U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid.