The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides federal grants of up to $3,772 per year, for a maximum of $7,544. It is different from other federal student grants because it requires you to take certain kinds of classes in order to get the grant, and then do a certain kind of job to keep the grant from turning into a loan.

Student eligibility requirements

To receive a TEACH Grant you must meet the following criteria:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible noncitizen.
  • Award amounts are prorated for less than full-time enrollment.
  • Be enrolled and taking courses in one of the following programs:
    • UW Bothell: Master in Education, K-8 Elementary Teaching Certificate
    • UW Seattle: Master in Teaching
    • UW Tacoma: Master in Education
  • You must be studying in a designated high need field (see below) when you receive the grant. Please note the high need field definitions below.
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25)
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (see below) each year.

What is a high need field?

To meet your service agreement for the TEACH Grant and avoid loan repayment, you must teach in a high need field as identified below. The field must be your primary teaching assignment for the majority of your time and not integrated as one part of your teaching assignments.

  • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Specialist
  • 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 count for your service requirement, the shortage area must be designated at the time you received the TEACH Grant, even if the field no longer has a high-need designation when you begin teaching.

What schools serve low-income students?

To count for your service requirement, the school you teach in must be listed in the U.S. Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.

What is the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve?

Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must electronically sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve on the U.S. Department of Education website. This 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 your TEACH Grant converts to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed. Specifically the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve will require the following:

  • You must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight calendar years after you completed or withdrew from the academic program for which you received the TEACH Grant. At the UW Seattle, completing your program includes receiving the Master’s degree.
  • You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher at a low-income school. The term highly-qualified teacher is defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or in section 602(10) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • Your teaching service must be in a high-need field.
  • You must comply with any other requirement that the U.S. Department of Education determines to be necessary.
  • If you do not complete the required teaching service obligation, TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that you must repay, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.

How do I apply?

Students who are interested in applying for a TEACH Grant should:

  1. Complete and submit a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current aid year.
  2. Complete the U.S. Department of Education’s Initial and subsequent Counseling for the TEACH Grant.
  3. Print and sign the TEACH Grant Application / Certification for UW Students and submit the signed statement to the UW Office of Student Financial Aid.
  4. If approved by a financial aid counselor, students will be contacted via email regarding the requirement to sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve.

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.

Exit counseling

Students who are graduating or leaving their TEACH Grant program must complete TEACH Grant exit counseling online with Federal Student Loan Servicing which is the organization that monitors the TEACH Grant service obligation.

Be sure and ask your campus financial aid office any questions you have with regards to the TEACH Grant. Contact information for all offices is below.

University of Washington Bothell
Phone: (425) 352-5230

University of Washington Seattle
College of Education
Phone: (206) 543-7834

University of Washington Tacoma
Phone: (253) 692-4430

University of Washington Office of Financial Aid
Phone: (206) 543-6101