Federal TEACH Grant
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year (currently $3728 due to sequestration modification, October 2015) to undergraduate and graduate students who intend to teach full-time in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. Full-time students may receive up to $8,000 for graduate study and $16,000 for undergraduate study. Part-time undergraduate or graduate students who are enrolled less than halftime are eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced. A percentage reduction from statutory award amount may occur each year.
In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students (see below for more information on high-need fields and schools serving low-income students). As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant. The eight-year period for completing this obligation begins when the student’s enrollment in the program ends. Teaching may apply to more than one obligation: for example, a student who completes a bachelor’s and a master’s program consecutively and receives TEACH Grants for both would have two service obligations. The student could receive a suspension for completing the obligation for the undergraduate program while enrolled in the master’s program. Once that is done, four years of qualifying teaching would satisfy the service obligations for both programs. However, a student who finishes the bachelor’s program, completes the obligation for it, and later enrolls in the master’s program would need to complete another four-year service obligation (FSA, HB May 2014, 81).
IMPORTANT: If you fail to complete this service obligation, all amounts of the TEACH Grant that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Student Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date the original grant was disbursed. Click Federal TEACH Grant Repayment Examples to view a Repayment Example for failure to complete the service obligation.
Student Eligibility Requirements:
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.
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
- Be academically eligible to participate.
- New Freshmen - Earn a cumulative HS GPA of at least 3.25 or score above the 75th percentile on the SAT/ACT.
- New Transfers - Earn a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25 or score above the 75th percentile on the SAT/ACT.
- Returning Undergraduates - Earn a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25 or score above the 75th percentile on the SAT/ACT.
- New Graduate Student - Earn a cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.25 or score above the 75th percentile on the SAT/ACT/GRE.
- Returning Graduate Student - Earn a cumulative graduate GPA of at least 3.25 or score above the 75th percentile on the SAT/ACT/GRE.
- Be enrolled in coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching or plan to complete such coursework. Such coursework may include subject area courses (e.g., math courses for a student who intends to be a math teacher).
- Be enrolled in an approved undergraduate or graduate 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 each semester).
- Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (see below for more information on the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve).
- Respond to requests by the U.S. Department of Education confirming your continuing intention to meet the teaching obligation.
- Complete the TEACH Grant Initial or Subsequent Counseling requirements.
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 as of the time you begin teaching in that field. These are teacher subject shortage areas (not geographic areas) that are listed in the Department of Education's Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing.
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.
How to Apply:
Interested in applying for the TEACH Grant? Simply complete the following steps:
- Thoroughly read all grant eligibility requirements and commitments to ensure your full understanding of the grant criteria.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You will need your FSA ID to complete the following steps.
- Complete the required TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling. You must complete this step before you sign the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve. Estimated time to complete the online counseling session is 45 minutes.
NOTE: 2015-2016 Counseling is now available.
- Sign (electronic signature) the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS). Estimated time to complete the ATS is 30 minutes.
NOTE: 2015-2016 ATS is now available.
After you complete the above steps, Coastal Carolina University Financial Aid & Scholarships will receive notification from the Department of Education.
- Financial Aid & Scholarships will then review your record to determine your eligibility for the program.
- If following consideration by Financial Aid & Scholarships you are determined eligible to receive the TEACH Grant, you will be mailed further information regarding the necessary steps to receive the TEACH Grant funds in the fall.
- Once you have been offered the TEACH Grant you may accept or decline the award.
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve that is available electronically on the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve Web site. 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 you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you 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 Student Loan that you must repay with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.
It is recommended that you respond promptly to requests for information from the U.S. Department of Education. Requests for information will be sent to you while you are in school and when you are out of school. You will be requested to confirm that you intend to teach or that you are currently teaching in an approved elementary or secondary school. You will be required to provide documentation annually to the U.S. Department of Education.
Should you cease enrollment in your approved degree program or encounter a situation that affects your ability to begin or continue teaching, you are required to contact the U.S. Department of Education, 800-848-0979, within 120 days to avoid your grant(s) from being converted to a loan. Failure to complete the teaching obligation, respond to information requests, or to 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 can not be converted back to a grant.
Federal TEACH Grant High Need Field List - all states
South Carolina High Need Field List
Low Income School Listing
Federal TEACH Grant Entrance Counseling
Federal TEACH Grant Exit Counseling
Federal TEACH Grant Exit Counseling Guide
Federal TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve
Federal TEACH Grant FAQs
Click here for additional information on the Federal TEACH Grant Program.
If you have questions on the Federal TEACH Grant Program offered through Coastal Carolina University, please call 843-349-2313.
The information in this document is subject to change and is not binding on the Department of Education or Coastal Carolina University.