Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program
St. Lawrence University is participating in the U.S. Department of Education's TEACH Grant Program, which is being implemented during the 2008-2009 academic year.
Amount of Grant:
- Annual award is $4,000. (pro-rated for less than full-time enrollment)
- Undergraduates can receive up to 4 years of TEACH Grant funds ($16,000)
- Graduate students can receive up to 2 years of TEACH Grant funds ($8,000)
To receive a TEACH Grant you must meet the following criteria:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need. School must receive valid results from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a postsecondary educational institution that has chosen to participate in the TEACH Grant Program.
- Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25).
- Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.
Eligibility Criteria for St. Lawrence Students:
Recipients must be actively enrolled in either a graduate or an undergraduate teacher certification program administered through the Education Department.
- Undergraduates: Undergraduate students must declare Education with certification as a minor prior to receiving a disbursement from through the TEACH Grant Program. Students that declare the Educational Studies minor will not be eligible for TEACH.
- Graduate Students: Graduate students need to be formally admitted into the General Studies in Education Program (The Combined NY Initial & Professional Teaching Certification). All other graduate programs are not TEACH Grant eligible.
Grant recipients agree to teach for at least four 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 four-year teaching obligation, your grant will convert to an unsubsidized loan, which you will have to repay with interest calculated back to the date the funds were disbursed.
Agreement to Serve:
Each year a recipient receives a TEACH Grant, he/she must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve that will be available electronically on a Department of Education website. The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by the recipient that they understand that if they do not meet the teaching service requirements they must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed. Specifically, the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve will require the following:
- For each TEACH Grant-eligible program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, you must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight calendar years after you completed or withdrew from the academic program for which you received the TEACH Grant.
- You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher at a low-income school. The term highly-qualified teacher is 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.
- Your teaching service must be in a high-need field.
- You must comply with any other requirements that the Department of Education determines to be necessary.
- If you do not complete the required teaching service obligation, TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that you must repay, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
To complete the TEACH grant’s Agreement to Serve, a recipient must teach in a designated High-Need field. The High-Need fields are the specific areas identified below:
- Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
- Foreign Language
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education
- Other identified teacher shortage areas. These are teacher subject shortage areas (not geographic areas) that are listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing. (www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.doc) The shortage area must be listed on the nationwide listing at the time you begin teaching.
Schools Serving Low-Income Students:
To fulfill the TEACH Grant’s Agreement to Serve, a recipient must teach in a school district that serves 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. To access the Directory, please go to www.tcli.ed.gov and click on the SEARCH button.
Important Note: If you are not already committed to teaching a high-need subject in a low-income school, please use caution when considering this possible source of funds. According to some estimates, as few as 20 percent of students who participate int he TEACH Grant Program will be able to use the funds as grants, and many students will see their funds converted to loans with accumulated interest. Once a grant is converted to a loan, it can't be converted back to a grant!