Teachers who want to pursue a graduate degree may get help paying for it by applying for a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant. Unlike federal student grants, a TEACH Grant requires enrolling in specific classes and then working as a teacher in a high-need field like bilingual education.
Whether the student qualifies for the TEACH Grant may depend on the state where the student works after graduation. For example, if a high-need field appears in the U.S. Department of Education's Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing, the student must teach in a state's shortage area at the time of the grant or when beginning qualifying teaching service.
How the TEACH Grant Program Works
The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4,000 a year to students enrolled in a degree program that prepares them for teaching careers in high-need fields. Students who meet the basic eligibility criteria for TEACH Grants and receive a grant will sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.
In short, the TEACH Grant eligibility requirements include:
- Meeting Federal Student Aid basic eligibility criteria.
- Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
- Enrolling in an undergraduate, graduate or post-baccalaureate program at a TEACH Grant eligible school.
- Satisfying academic achievement requirements.
- Signing the TEACH Grant Agreement.
The agreement says the student agrees to teach in a high-need field at a school serving students from low-income families for at least four academic years within eight years of completing the course of grant-related study. The student can use the grant at any eligible school, in-state or out-of-state but will be responsible for any tuition that is not covered.
If the student does not complete the service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds received turn into a direct unsubsidized loan. In this case, the student will repay the loan to the U.S. Department of Education with interest.
How to Get a TEACH Grant for an MS in Curriculum and Instruction in Bilingual Education
Those interested in applying for a TEACH Grant can contact the financial aid office at the school where they want to enroll. Ask the school if they are a TEACH Grant-eligible institution and which programs qualify. For example, Texas A&M International University's Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Bilingual Education online program is TEACH Grant-eligible.
TAMIU's program tuition is affordable with an in-state rate of $11,082 that includes all fees. A student who receives the TEACH Grant could potentially only pay $7K for the program. A student may further reduce the tuition with other qualifying grants and scholarships. Educators can check with their school or district to see if additional tuition help is available.
Sources:Federal Student Aid: Basic Eligibility Criteria
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