Federal Teach Grant Program
What is a TEACH Grant?
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year in grants for graduate and undergraduate students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. Students may receive up to $16,000 for undergraduate study and up to $8,000 for graduate study. Part-time students are eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced.
To receive a TEACH Grant you must:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
- Meet the eligibility requirements for federal student aid. General requirements include being a citizen or permanent resident, not in default of a student loan or in repayment of a Federal Grant, and meet the UNO Satisfactory Academic Progress standards.
- Be enrolled in a program of study designated as TEACH Grant-eligible. Eligible programs are those that prepare a student to teach in a high-need area. UNO students need to be admitted to the College of Education which requires:
- completion of the General Education requirements (ENGL 1150, ENGL 1160, SPCH 1110, and MATH 1310, or placement beyond Math 1310 through the Math Placement Examination or Math ACT score) and EDUC 2020 and EDUC 2030,
- minimum 2.5 Cum GPA, and
- passing scores on all sections of the Pre-Professional Skills Test (PPST).
- Score above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test (e.g. SAT, ACT, GRE) OR have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) on your college coursework
- Complete TEACH Grant counseling. The Financial Aid Office will supply you with this information.
- Sign a 'TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS)' and respond to requests by the U.S. Department of Education confirming your continuing intention to meet the teaching obligation. This ATS is available on Department of Education Website.
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement) that will be available electronically on a Department of Education Web site. The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.
To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant with interest you must be a highly-qualified, full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years at a school serving low-income students.
You must complete the four years of teaching within eight years of finishing the program for which you received the grant.
You incur a four-year teaching obligation for each educational program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, although you may work off multiple four-year obligations simultaneously under certain circumstances. Specific definitions of these terms are listed below.
Highly-Qualified Teacher: You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher, which is defined in federal law. To meet the definition of a highly qualified teacher in the state of Nebraska, you must meet the certification requirements of the State of Nebraska Department of Education.
Full-Time Teacher: You must meet the state's definition of a full time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching one of the high-need subject areas. Elementary teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.
High-Need Subject Areas: The high-need subject areas are applicable nationwide and are as follows:
- Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
- Foreign Language
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education
UNO awards TEACH Grants for Nebraska High-Need areas listed in the Department of Education's Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing which is updated yearly. UNO can only award the TEACH Grant if the high-need area is listed for the current year. The Nebraska High-Need Areas will only apply for teaching in Nebraska unless another state designates the field as high-need.
Schools 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. If a school is not listed for an academic year, any teaching in that school will not count towards the four-year requirement.
You must respond promptly to any requests for information or documentation from the U.S. Department of Education, even if they seem repetitive. These requests will be sent to you while you are still in school as well as once you are out of school. You will be asked regularly to confirm that you still intend to teach or that you are teaching as required. You must provide documentation to the U.S. Department of Education at the end of each year of teaching.
If you temporarily cease enrollment in your program of study or if you encounter situations that affect your ability to begin or continue teaching, you will need to stay in touch with the U.S. Department of Education to avoid having your grants converted to loans before you are able to complete your teaching obligation.
Failure to complete the teaching obligation, respond to requests for information, or properly document your teaching service will cause the TEACH Grant to be permanently converted to a loan with interest.
Once a grant is converted to a loan it cannot be converted back to a grant.