What are the TEACH Grant Eligibility Requirements?
The TEACH grant has garnered a lot of attention since it was announced. The government’s lack of clarity on the subject has not done potential students much good and questions still abound about the grant program. For instance, what are the eligibility requirements of the program?
Who can apply?
To apply for the TEACH grant, you must be a student with at least a 3.25 grade point average. This grade point average is applied to the student’s high school career if they are in their first year of college or new to college entirely. [ad#content] If the grade point average is not workable, the student can still qualify by scoring higher than the 75th percentile on at least one battery of school admission tests, whether for undergraduate or postgraduate studies. If the student is working on a graduate degree, the grade point average requirements do not apply. To qualify to be graduate student for the grant program, you must be a teacher or retiree from a field that correlates to a high demand area of school study.
Other requirements exist, as well. To attain the grant, you must agree that you will teach for a minimum of four enrollment years in a school for low income students. The time teaching must begin within eight years of graduating from the course. An additional addendum is that the area taught must be one that is experiencing a teacher shortage or is in very high demand. Mathematics, English, science and foreign languages are some of the primary areas concerned, though each school system’s needs will vary.
If, for any reason, you fail to graduate from the course of study, the grant monies must be repaid to the Department of Education. The funds actually become the equivalent of an unsubsidized loan. In addition, if you fail to teach for the required four years, or do not begin teaching within the required eight year time period, the monies must be repaid to the government.
It is important to note that other eligibility requirements may be stipulated by the Department of Education when the grant program goes live in July of 2008. Until then, the above are the basic guidelines for eligibility. It cannot be stressed enough, however, that if you fail to meet the terms of the Service Agreement stated in the grant application, these monies will be converted into loans and must be repaid.