Students who plan to teach may wish to consider the TEACH Grant, a federal program that first began for the 2008-2009 academic year. The University Of Rio Grande participates in the TEACH Grant program. Students should be aware that if they receive the TEACH Grant but do not fulfill the stringent requirements of the program the amount awarded in grant money becomes a loan with interest (at the same rate as the federal Unsubsidized Stafford Loan) compounded from the time of initial disbursement of the award.
Amount of Grant
The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4000 per year ($16,000 total for an undergraduate program; $8000 for graduate studies) in grants to full time students who plan to teach full time in high-need subject areas at schools serving students from low-income families. Students attending less than full time will have the grant reduced (3/4 time students may receive up to $3000; ½ time students may receive up to $2000; and < ½ time students may receive up to $1000). Review the following links for the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing (http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/pol/tsa.doc) and the Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits (https://www.tcli.ed.gov/CBSWebApp/tcli/TCLIPubSchoolSearch.jsp).
Grant recipients agree to teach for at least four full years within eight years of finishing their teacher preparation program, and to teach in high-need subjects in designated schools that serve low-income students. If you do not complete the teaching obligation, your grants will convert to an Unsubsidized Stafford loan, which you must repay with interest incurred from the time of initial disbursement.S
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay, which is completed electronically through the U.S. Department of Education web site. When you sign the service agreement, you are agreeing to repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with the interest accruing from the date the grant funds were disbursed, if you do not complete the teaching obligation. Once the grant has been converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant. Remember, you are required to complete the ATS agreement once a year. Go to https://teach-ats.ed.gov for more information and to sign the service agreement. You are also required to contact the U.S. Department of Education at least once a year after graduating or leaving school to verify your intent to teach.
You will be required to complete 2 counseling requirements for every year that you accept the TEACH grant: Online Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling AND the Certification of Entrance Counseling Form. Federal Direct Loan Entrance Counseling is electronically completed online at https://teach-ats.ed.gov
Upon completion of both the online entrance counseling and online ATS agreement, complete and return the Certification of Entrance Counseling Form to the Financial Aid Office. You will also be required to complete Exit counseling through the Financial Aid Office when you graduate or leave school.
Federal regulations require that TEACH Grant recipients complete an exit counseling session upon withdrawing or graduating. Exit counseling consists of 2 parts: an online counseling session and completion of the Certification of Exit Counseling Form. The online exit counseling session provides information about the terms and conditions of the TEACH Grant service agreement, as well as the rights and responsibilities that apply if your TEACH Grant is converted to a loan. Follow the link below to complete the TEACH Grant Exit Counseling:
The online exit counseling session takes about 30-40 minutes to complete, and confirmation that you have completed it will be automatically sent to the Financial Aid Office. Upon completion of the online exit counseling, complete and return the Certification of Exit Counseling Form to the Financial Aid Office. For additional exit information about the TEACH Grant exit go to: https://teach-ats.ed.gov/ats/index.action
High Need Subject Areas
- Bilingual education and English language acquisition
- Foreign language
- Special Education
- Other identified teacher shortage areas (as listed in the Department of Education’s Nationwide Listing of Teacher Shortage Areas—see link above).
At The University of Rio Grande, you must:
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
- Complete a FAFSA (www.fafsa.ed.gov), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 throughout your academic program, or demonstrate a score above the 75th percentile on a national standardized college admissions test
- Sign a service agreement and complete counseling each year that you receive a grant
You will need to confirm with the U.S. Department of Education, within 120 days of graduating or ceasing to enroll in your teacher preparation program, that you are fulfilling (or plan to fulfill) the terms and conditions of your service agreement. You must document your teaching service, and your documentation must be certified by the chief administrative officer at the school where you teach. It is your responsibility to communicate this information to the U.S. Department of Education. After 120 days of graduating or ceasing to enroll, if you have not provided necessary information concerning your service or intent to service, your TEACH Grant is converted into an Unsubsidized Stafford Loan with a 6 month grace period before active repayment starts. Once the grant is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.