The new Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year* in grants for graduate and undergraduate students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families. Students may receive up to $16,000 for undergraduate study and up to $8,000 for graduate study. Part-time students are eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced.
*Due to the Budget Control Act of 2011, known as a “sequester,” TEACH Grant awards disbursed on or after Oct. 1 will be reduced by a certain percentage, click here for additional information.
Please note: Students who fail to complete the four-year teaching obligation will have to repay the grant with interest.
Students Eligible for a TEACH Grant at the University of Houston:
- Undergraduate students
- Graduate students
- Current or former teachers or retirees seeking additional education
To receive a TEACH Grant you MUST:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You do not have to demonstrate financial need.
- Meet the eligibility requirements for federal student aid.
- Be enrolled in one of the following TEACH Grant-eligible programs/majors at UH:
- TEACH Houston (must have declared a minor in education)
- 4 – 8 QUEST Middle School in a high-need field
- Special Education
- Bilingual Education majors in QUEST
- Transition to Teaching (graduate level) in a high-need field
- Q Track (graduate level) in a high-need field
- Meet one of the following academic achievement requirements
- Score above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test (e.g. SAT, ACT, GRE), or
- Maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale)
- Complete the TEACH Grant Application.
- Complete TEACH Grant counseling
- Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and respond to requests by the U.S. Department of Education confirming your continuing intention to meet the teaching obligation.
TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement) that will be available electronically on a Department of Education Web site. The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.
To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant with interest 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 who is certified to teach and demonstrates knowledge of the subjects they teach.
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 teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.
High-Need Subject Areas
- Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
- Foreign Language
- Special Education
- Other teacher shortage areas listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing
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.
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.
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 cannot be converted back to a grant!
If you meet all of the eligibility requirements and are interested in participating in the TEACH grant program, please complete the following:
- TEACH Grant Application
- TEACH Grant Entrance Counseling
The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid will contact you with additional information once you have completed the TEACH Grant Application. For additional information, please click here, or visit the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid at the Welcome Center.