What is the TEACH Grant?
The new Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program was created through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, and is offered at Barry University to graduate students in the Master’s (M.S.) in Exceptional Student Education or the Master’s (M.S.) in Reading.
The TEACH Grant starts as a grant, but there are stringent requirements that students must continuously and completely fulfill in order to prevent it from converting into a Direct Federal Unsubsidized Stafford loan. As such, we encourage students to carefully review the terms and conditions of this grant prior to applying in order to be certain that they will be able to keep this grant as a grant, and not an Unsubsidized Stafford loan.
How much is the TEACH Grant?
- Up to $4,000 per year if enrolled full-time (9 credits or more per semester). Awards are prorated for less than full-time enrollment.
- Maximum lifetime amount is $8,000.
To receive a TEACH Grant, you must meet the following criteria:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Be accepted and enrolled as a graduate student in the Master’s degree (M.S.) program in ESE or Reading.
- Meet certain academic achievement requirements, specifically, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test such as the GRE or MAT, or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 on a 4.0 scale throughout your academic program.
- Complete TEACH Grant entrance and subsequent counseling and sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) each year with the U.S. Department of Education.
What do I have to do to make sure it remains a grant?
- You must teach full-time as a highly-qualified teacher for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant.
- The four years of full-time teaching must be in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students.
- You must document your teaching every year with the U.S. Department of Education.
What is the definition of a “Full-Time Teacher”?
You must meet the state’s definition of a full-time teacher and spend the majority of time (at least 51 percent) teaching one of the high-need subject areas. Note: Elementary school teachers who teach many different subjects may not be able to fulfill their service agreement that calls for teaching the majority of time in a high-need subject area.
What is a “Highly-Qualified Teacher”?
Generally, the minimum requirements include possessing a Bachelor’s degree, having full state certification, and demonstrating a high level of competency in each academic subject you teach. However, students should be familiar with the full definition as defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, or in section 602(10) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act:
What is a “High-Need Field”?
- Bilingual Education
- Foreign Language
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education
- Other identified teacher shortage areas listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing: http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.doc.
What is the definition of a school 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: https://studentloans.gov/myDirectLoan/tcli.action.
How do I document that I am fulfilling the requirements?
- TEACH Grant recipients must confirm to the U.S. Department of Education in writing within 120 days of completing or otherwise ceasing enrollment in the TEACH-eligible program that they are fulfilling (or plan to fulfill) the terms and conditions of the service agreement.
- The elementary or secondary school’s chief administrative officer must certify documentation of the teaching service. This documentation must show that you were a full-time, highly-qualified teacher at a school serving low-income students, teaching in high-need subject area for at least four years.
- TEACH Grant recipients must provide documentation to the U.S. Department of Education that the teaching obligation was completed.
- Failure to complete the teaching obligation or properly document teaching service will cause the teach grant to be permanently converted to an unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford loan with interest. The interest will accrue from the date of the original disbursement.
- Once a grant is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.
- Students must seriously consider the financial impact that converting these grants into loans will have on their future.
How do I apply?
- Step 1: Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid online at https://fafsa.ed.gov.
- Step 2: Complete federally-required TEACH Grant Entrance and Subsequent counseling and sign the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve online at https://studentloans.gov.
- Step 3: You will be contacted by the Graduate Financial Aid Office to review the terms of the TEACH Grant and to discuss the award.
Federal regulations require that students who have received a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) complete an exit counseling session upon withdrawing or graduating from their program of study. The TEACH Grant Exit Counseling session provides information about the terms and conditions of a TEACH Grant service agreement, as well as the rights and responsibilities that apply if your TEACH Grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.
If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid Office.