Undergraduate and graduate students who plan to teach may wish to consider the TEACH Grant, a federal program that provides annual grants and requires teaching service in return for the grant. 

TEACH Grant recipients must agree to teach full time in high-need subject areas at schools serving children from low income families. 

Award Amounts

The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year ($16,000 total for an undergraduate program; $8,000 total for graduate studies) to full-time students who plan to become highly qualified teachers. Students attending less than full-time will receive reduced amounts.

Standard Award Amounts

Enrollment level Standard Award*
Full-time $4,000
3/4 time $3,000
Half-time $2,000
Less than half-time $1,000

*Because of the sequestration cuts required by Budget Control Act of 2011, these standard award amounts are reduced based on a percentage that is defined annually.  TEACH Grants that are first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020 and before Oct. 1, 2023, must be reduced by 5.7 percent, which reduces a $4,000 award to $3,772.  For updates, see other rates.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a TEACH Grant, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen or have an eligible non-citizen status.
  • You must submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year, but you do not have to demonstrate any financial need.
  • You must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 throughout your academic program, or a score above the 75th percentile on a national standardized college admissions test or be a current/former teacher or retiree with expertise in a high-need field.
  • You must be majoring in education and pursuing a certification in a high need subject area OR you must be majoring in a high need subject area with the intent of also completing teacher certification.
  • You must be pursuing your first Bachelor's Degree or a Graduate program.  Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree or those in a non-degree teacher certification program cannot receive a TEACH Grant.
  • You must complete an online TEACH Grant Initial Counseling for your first TEACH grant, and subsequent counseling for each subsequent TEACH Grant. This must be done before you sign the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Repay (see below).
  • You must complete the Agreement to Serve and Repay (see below).

Service Requirement

TEACH Grant recipients must agree to teach for at least four academic years as a highly qualified teacher in a high need field in a low income school. You must complete these four years of service within eight years of finishing your teacher preparation programs. 

TEACH Grant recipients must also teach in one of the approved high need subject areas:

  • Bilingual education and English language acquisition
  • Foreign language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading
  • Science
  • Special Education

Other approved teacher shortage areas may be defined as of the time you begin teaching. These teacher subject shortage areas (not geographic areas) are listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing.

TEACH Grant Application Process

  1. Before you apply for a TEACH Grant, you must review the eligible majors in the Teacher Shortage Area Listings and the eligible schools in the Teacher Cancellation Low Income Directory. After reviewing these eligible majors and schools, if you feel that you are willing to make the service commitment, you can complete the remaining steps.
  2. The first year you apply, you must submit the TU TEACH Grant Fact Sheet and Application for the appropriate aid year.  Visit aid forms.
  3. Complete the FAFSA process.
  4. Every year, you must complete TEACH Grant Counseling & Agreement to Serve.
  5. If you do not complete the required teaching obligation, you will repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accruing from the date that the grant funds were disbursed. The interest (the same rate as the Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan) will accrue from the date that the grant was disbursed to your university account. Once the grant has been converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.
  6. Within 120 days of completing or ceasing enrollment in your teacher preparation program, and every year thereafter, you must confirm to the U.S. Department of Education that you will fulfill the terms and conditions of your service agreement. When you begin your career as a teacher, you must document your teaching service with certification from the chief administrative officer at the school where you teach. 

Teach Grant Exit Counseling

Federal regulations require that TEACH Grant recipients complete the following Exit Counseling session upon graduating or withdrawing from Towson University. The counseling session provides information about the terms and conditions of a TEACH Grant service agreement, and the rights and responsibilities that apply if your TEACH Grant is converted to a loan.