Students who plan to become teachers may wish to consider the federal TEACH Grant program.
Be aware that if you receive the TEACH Grant but do not fulfill the stringent requirements of the program, the amount awarded in grant money becomes a loan with interest (at the same rate as the federal Stafford Loan) compounded from the time of the award.
According to some estimates, only 20% of students who participate in the TEACH Grant program will ultimately keep the funds as grants, while the rest will see the funds converted into loans with accumulated interest.
Amount of grant
Anyone applying for the TEACH Grant after October 1st, 2015 may be eligible for up to $3,728 per year in grants to full time students who plan to teach full time in high-need subject areas at schools serving students from low-income families. Students attending less than full time will have the grant prorated based on their enrollment. Refer to Table B of our enrollment chart to determine what your enrollment level is based on your current number of credit hours.
The lifetime maximum amount a student may receive is $16,000 total for an undergraduate program and $8,000 total for graduate studies.
Grant recipients agree to teach for at least four full years within eight years of finishing their teacher preparation program, and to teach high-need subjects in designated schools that serve low-income students. If you do not complete the teaching obligation, your grants will convert to an unsubsidized loan, which you must repay with interest.
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement) which will be available electronically on the U.S. Department of Education web site. When you sign the service agreement, you are agreeing to repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date that the grant funds were disbursed, if you do not complete the teaching obligation. Once the grant has been converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.
You will be required to complete counseling through the U.S. Department of Education web site each year that you accept a TEACH Grant. You will also be required to complete Exit Counseling when you graduate or leave school.
High-need subject areas
- Bilingual education and English language acquisition
- Foreign language
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education
- Other identified teacher shortage areas (listed by state)
At Michigan State University, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Complete a FAFSA, although you do not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 throughout your academic program, or demonstrate a score above the 75th percentile on a national standardized college admissions test (submit a paper copy of your test scores showing percentile ranking to the Office of Financial Aid).
- Be accepted into an eligible degree program. You may:
- Major in education and pursue a certification in a high need subject area, or:
- Major in a high need subject area with the intent of also completing teacher certification
- Undergraduate students are eligible only if they are pursuing their first undergraduate degree. Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree or those in the fifth year (Graduate Certification year) of the teaching degree are NOT eligible for the TEACH Grant.
- Sign an Agreement to Serve and complete counseling each year that you receive a grant.
- Complete Entrance Counseling.
You will need to confirm within 120 days of completing or ceasing to enroll in your teacher preparation program that you are fulfilling (or plan to fulfill) the terms and conditions of your service agreement. You must document your teaching service, and your documentation must be certified by the chief administrative officer at the school where you teach.