Federal TEACH Grant Program

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program. Its aim is to provide greater support to those who are willing to commit to teaching at least four years (out of eight) in Title 1 schools and shortage subject matters where it is hard to recruit teachers.

Students attending less than full time will have the grant reduced based on registration for each semester (three-quarter time, half-time students, and less-than-half time students).

Please note: Because total financial aid must not exceed the cost of attendance, receiving a TEACH Grant may reduce the recipient’s eligibility for other sources of financial aid.

Teaching Obligation

Grant recipients agree to teach for at least four years within eight years of finishing their teacher preparation program and to teach high-need subjects in designated schools that serve low-income students. Failure to complete the teaching obligation, respond to federal requests for information or properly document teaching service will cause the TEACH award to be permanently converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan with interest capitalized from the first date of disbursement of funds. Once an award is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a ‘grant’. No exceptions or appeal process.

In the event that a student withdraws or drops all coursework, Teach funds will be returned to the federal government based upon the standard Return of Title IV funds calculation

Please Note: If you are not already committed to teaching a high-need subject in a low-income school, please use caution when considering this possible source of funds.  According to some estimates, only 20 percent of students who participate in the TEACH Grant Program will be able to use the funds as grants, while many students will see their funds converted to loans with accumulated interest

High-Need Subject Areas

  • Bilingual education and English language acquisition
  • Reading specialist
  • Foreign language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading
  • Science
  • 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. To access the listing, please go to

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. To access the Directory, please go to

Federal Eligibility

To be eligible for a TEACH Grant, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Complete a FAFSA, although you do not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible.
  • Be enrolled in coursework or plan to complete coursework toward a career in teaching and/or in a high-need subject area.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 as a high school graduate and maintain that GPA throughout your academic program (or score above the 75th percentile on at least one battery on a national standardized college admissions test, such as: SAT, ACT, Praxis, GRE etc.)
  • Traditional Undergraduates or Graduates students must be admitted to the program of professional studies in education (Teacher Education Program).
  • Current, retired, or prospective teachers seeking a graduate degree to become eligible to teach in Title 1 schools or in a specified shortage area.
  • Current teachers/retirees must have expertise in a high-need field and be pursing a master’s degree.
  • Complete the U.S. Department of Education Federal Teach Grant Initial and the Subsequent Counseling session each following year electronically at
  • Complete the U.S. Department of Education Federal Agreement to Serve (ATS) electronically each year at

Eligibility Criteria for Averett Students

Averett University students must be actively enrolled in either a graduate or an undergraduate teacher certification program administered through the Education Department and is majoring in one of the eligible critical need fields cited above.

Note that: Students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree or certification following a first bachelor’s degree are not eligible for the TEACH Grant.

Teach Grant-Eligible Programs at Averett

Undergraduate Level

  • Liberal Studies with Elementary Education,PK-6
  • Liberal Studies with Special Education, K-12 General Curriculum
  • Secondary English, 6-12
  • Secondary Math, 6-12

Graduate Level

  • M.Ed. Special Education, K-12 General Curriculum
  • Endorsement: Special Education, K-12 General Education


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 intends 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 contact the U.S. Department of Education (1-800-848-0979) within 120 days to avoid your grants being converted to loans before you are able to complete your teaching obligation.

How to Apply

What to do if you believe you qualify and are interested in the Federal TEACH Grant

Contact the Student Financial Services office and ask for a review of your academic record based on the minimum requirements listed above. If you meet these requirements and are interested in applying for a TEACH Grant you must complete the following steps:

Step 1 – Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)

Step 2 – Complete the Federal Teach Grant Application and have signed by your Faculty Advisor.

Step 3 – Complete the Initial Counseling for the TEACH Grant at .Click on My Teach Grant initial counseling.

Step 4 – Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS) at Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve that will be available electronically on a Department of Education Web site.

Step 5 – Current/Former Teachers and Retirees must provide documentation of teaching service before final approval.

Step 6 – Accept the offered Teach Grant Award once notified by your SFS Counselor online via Net Partner


This page provides a preliminary summary of the TEACH Grant Program based on the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007. The information on this page is subject to change.