The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants up to $4,000 to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families.
Due to sequestration, TEACH Grant that is first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2016, and before Oct. 1, 2017, must be reduced by 6.9 percent. Therefore, any 2016–17 TEACH Grant first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2016, and before Oct. 1, 2017, the maximum award of $4,000 is reduced by 6.9 percent ($276), resulting in a maximum award of $3,724 or $1,862 per term if enrolled full-time.
In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, 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 included below.
You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher, which is defined in federal law. The informational sheet and can also be found online at: www.ed.gov/policy/elsec/leg/esea02/pg107.html.
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 school teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.
Other teacher shortage areas are listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing at www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.doc .
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 at www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp.
At the University of Maryland, you must:
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve. The Agreement is a legally binding document that defines the teaching obligations you must meet and specifies your repayment obligation if a TEACH Grant that you receive is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. When you sign the service agreement, you are agreeing to repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date that the grant funds were disbursed, if you do not complete the teaching obligation. Once a grant is converted to a loan it cannot be reverted to a grant.
Federal regulations require that students who have received a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) complete an exit counseling session upon withdrawing or graduating from their program of study. The TEACH Grant Exit Counseling session provides information about the terms and conditions of a TEACH Grant service agreement, as well as the rights and responsibilities that apply if your TEACH Grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. To complete the TEACH Grant exit counseling please visit www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/SaEcWelcome.do.
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 either 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 your grants being converted to loans before you are able to complete your teaching obligation.
Students who meet the above qualifications may demonstrate their interest in the TEACH Grant by contacting the Office of Student Financial Aid. Once students have been offered the TEACH Grant they must fulfill the teaching obligation and complete the TEACH Grant Counseling and Agreement to Serve
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 can't be converted back to a grant!