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TEACH Grant questions & answers

  1. What is the TEACH Grant all about?
  2. How do I apply for a TEACH Grant?
  3. How often do I have to apply/reapply?
  4. Why is undergraduate study limited on the University's list?
  5. How are the high-need teaching areas determined?
  6. Can I qualify for TEACH Grants for both undergraduate and graduate study, in preparation for my teaching license?
  7. What are the academic qualifications to get or keep a TEACH Grant?
  8. What are my obligations in return for this money?
  9. What happens if I change majors?
  10. What happens if my major is taken off the list?
  11. What happens if my cumulative GPA drops below a 3.25?
  12. Can I change my mind after accepting the grant?
  13. When would I have to start making payments if it becomes a loan?
  14. Can the grant be denied if I reach my aggregate maximum on loans?
  15. Can I get the grant for just one year? How about one semester? What if I'm going part time?
  16. What happens if I get the grant as an undergraduate and then go on to grad school?
  17. Does student teaching in a high need field for a low-income school count towards my time commitment in my agreement to serve?
  18. If I receive the TEACH Grant for my bachelor's degree and another for a master's degree, am I obligated to eight years of service?
  19. I am an experienced teacher interested in becoming licensed in a high-need field. Would I qualify for the TEACH Grant?
1. What is the TEACH Grant all about?
Recent federal legislation established this national program to help attract teachers into high-need teaching areas (such as math, science, and second languages) taught in K-12 low-income schools. It allows for a grant of up to $4,000 per year (aggregate limit $16,000 total) for students in qualifying undergraduate programs and up to $4,000 per year (aggregate limit $8,000) for students in qualifying graduate programs. Check here for qualifying programs at the University of Minnesota.
2. How do I apply for a TEACH Grant?
Submit a FAFSA indicating an interest in the TEACH Grant, and fill out a University of Minnesota TEACH Grant application. To receive the grant, you will also need to do online counseling and complete the federal Agreement to Serve form.
3. How often do I have to apply/reapply?
Each year you will need to indicate on your FAFSA that you are interested in teaching, fill out an application, complete a new federal Agreement to Serve form, and complete a TEACH Grant counseling session.
4. Why is undergraduate study limited on the University's list?
Each school determines which programs are eligible for the TEACH Grant. The University of Minnesota is limiting eligibility to students who have entered into a clear path toward receiving a teaching license in a high-need area, involving a commitment both by the student and by the University. For undergraduate students, that clear path is the DirecTrack to Teaching program.
5. How are the high-need teaching areas determined?
The U.S. Department of Education maintains the national list at Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing. Additionally, each year, each state establishes high-need areas for that particular state.
6. Can I qualify for TEACH Grants for both undergraduate and graduate study, in preparation for my teaching license?
Yes, up to $4,000 per year, with an aggregate limit of $16,000 as an undergraduate student and an aggregate limit of $8,000 as a graduate student, as long as you are enrolled in qualifying programs and maintain a qualifying GPA.
7. What are the academic qualifications to get or keep a TEACH Grant?
Students must have at least a 3.25 GPA for each payment period; OR have a score above the 75th percentile on one section of an admissions test such as the SAT, ACT or GRE. In addition, you must meet University of Minnesota Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements.
8. What are my obligations in return for this money?
Recipients must teach full-time for four years in the high-need subject area you have prepared for in a low-income school within the first eight years of completing training (i.e., receiving a teaching license). If you fail to do this, all of your TEACH Grant money reverts to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest added on from the time the money was first received. This can add up to a significant loan burden.
9. What happens if I change majors?
If you change majors to one ineligible for a TEACH Grant, you will not continue to receive the grant. Furthermore, if you graduate and do not pursue the teaching requirements, the grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest calculated from the point of disbursement.
10. What happens if my major is taken off the list?
If the major was on the list at the time that you received the TEACH Grant, you will be permitted to fulfill the requirements by teaching in that subject area.
11. What happens if my cumulative GPA drops below a 3.25?
If you qualify for this grant by GPA and it drops below a 3.25, then you are ineligible for the grant until your GPA returns to the 3.25 minimum.
12. Can I change my mind after accepting the grant?
If you request, One Stop can send back the money up to 14 days after it disburses. If it has been more than 14 days, but less than 120 days, please contact One Stop for further instructions. After 120 days, you are responsible for contacting Direct Loan Servicing and they will work with you on repayment of funds.
13. When would I have to start making payments if it becomes a loan?
Like all Direct Unsubsidized Loans, repayment would start six months after you graduate or your enrollment falls below half time.
14. Can the grant be denied if I reach my aggregate maximum on loans?
No, this grant is not based on need and does not factor into your aggregate limit on loans.
15. Can I get the grant for just one year? How about one semester? What if I'm enrolled part time?
This grant is up to $4,000 per year, or up to $2,000 per semester, and is pro-rated if you are enrolled less than full time or less than half time.
16. What happens if I get the grant as an undergraduate and then go on to grad school?
This grant will stay a grant and you will be expected to fulfill your teaching obligation once you complete graduate school.
17. Does student teaching in a high need field for a low-income school count towards my time commitment in my agreement to serve?
No, student teaching does not count toward the four years you are required to teach in order to fulfill your agreement with the federal government.
18. If I receive the TEACH Grant for my bachelor's degree and also receive the grant for a master's degree, do I have to do eight years of service?
No, if you continue from one right into the other, then the requirement is four years total.
19. I am an experienced teacher interested in becoming licensed in a high-need field. Would I qualify for the TEACH Grant?
The grant can be given only for a first bachelor's degree or a first master's degree. If you have not yet earned your first master's degree, you may qualify for the TEACH Grant if you enter into an additional licensure program in a high-need field as part of completing a master's degree congruent with your additional licensure program. More detail about this option is found at the CEHD website. If you are seeking an additional licensure, inquire about your TEACH grant eligibility by contacting CEHD Graduate Student Services, (612) 625-6501 or cehdgrad@umn.edu.