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Teachers College, Columbia University
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Federal Student Aid > Federal TEACH Grant

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Federal Student Aid

Federal TEACH Grant

  • Beginning with the 2014-2015 academic year, students in TEACH Grant-eligible programs will automatically see the TEACH Grant offered on their financial aid packages. An institutional TEACH Grant application will not be required. If you do not want to receive the TEACH Grant after seeing it on your aid package, please contact our office in late July to acquire the appropriate form needed to decline it. Declining the TEACH Grant will not affect other aid for which you may be eligible.
  • Fall 2013 and Spring 2014 students: You must complete the Teachers College internal TEACH Application (found below) AND be awarded the grant before being able to complete the TEACH Entrance Counseling and TEACH ATS Agreement to Serve documents online.


The TEACH Grant Program will provide up to $3,712 per year (up to $7,424 total for graduate studies) in grants to master's level students who plan to teach full-time in high-need subject areas at schools that serve students from low-income families. Full-time students (12+ credits/points) may receive up to $3,712 per academic year, while three-quarter time students (9-11 credits/points), half-time students (6-8 credits/points), and less-than-half-time students (1-5 credits/points) may receive lesser amounts that correlate with their enrollment (See Important Notes section below.)

Please note that the US Department of Education reserves their right to make changes to the TEACH awards at any time. This can include changing the amount for which students are eligible. The information provided on this page is current as of February 2014.

Awards will be split into two disbursements. Typically, half of your total award will disburse in the fall and the other half will disburse in the spring.

If you request cancellation before the first day of the payment period or within 14 days of your school notifying you of your grant, your school will return the funds and they will not be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan.

Teaching Obligation
Grant recipients must agree to teach for at least four years within eight years of finishing their teacher preparation program. Recipients must also teach in a high-need subject area in a designated school that serves low-income students. If you do not complete the four-year teaching obligation, your grant will convert to an unsubsidized loan, which you will have to repay with interest calculated back to the date the funds were disbursed.
Service Agreement
Each year that you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (otherwise known as a service agreement), which is available electronically on the US Department of Education's website. When you sign the service agreement, you are agreeing to the repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed, if you do not complete the teaching service requirement. If the grant is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant. (See Important Notes section below.)

To be eligible for a TEACH Grant, you must:
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be eligible for federal aid
  • Be enrolled in or plan to complete coursework in a TEACH Grant-eligible master's degree (only) program, toward a career in teaching and/or in a high-need subject area (see list below). Doctoral students, including those receiving a master's degree on the way, are NOT eligible.
  • Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress and meet all other institutional requirements for maintaining enrollment.
  • Maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of at least 3.25.
  • Complete the TC TEACH Grant application
  • Complete a FAFSA, although you do not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible.
TEACH Grant-eligible programs at Teachers College
  • Art
  • Bilingual Education
  • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Elementary / Childhood Ed & Learning Disabilities
  • Elementary Inclusive Education - Dual Certification
  • English (Grades 5-9 and 7-12)
  • English as a Second Language
  • Intellectual Disability / Autism
  • Languages other than English
  • Mathematics (Grades 5-9 and 7-12)
  • Music
  • Physical Education
  • Reading and Literacy
  • Sciences (Grades 5-9 and 7-12)
  • Special Education (Bilingual)
  • Special Education (5-9 and 7-12
  • Secondary Inclusive Education
  • Teaching Student with Disabilities
Program descriptions and major codes are listed here.
Note: In order to satisfy your service requirement, the field in which you teach must be a high-need field in the state where you wish to complete the service. You are not required to remain in New York to complete the teaching requirement.

You must confirm within 120 days of completing or otherwise ceasing enrollment 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 with the chief administrative officer at the school where you teach.

Application Process
To apply for the TEACH Grant, you only need to complete a FAFSA and submit TC's TEACH Grant application. If awarded, you will receive an e-mail from our office with directions on how to accept it.

Important Notes
  • 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.
  • 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.
For additional information regarding the TEACH Grant Program, contact the Office of Financial Aid at 212-678-3714 or