Grants for education are available to students who are pursuing degrees in education and teaching. Grants are almost identical to scholarships because they do not have to be repaid. However, grants are usually awarded based on need, while scholarships are usually awarded based on merit. Grants for education are designed to attract more qualified people to the education field, draw teachers to in-demand fields like math and science, and boost the quality of instruction in urban and low-income schools.
For the most part, grants for education are government funded either at the federal or state level. While these programs are need based and only available to students who meet other student aid requirements, they also focus on other criteria, like academics and career objectives. Education grants often result in significant annual awards that subsidize the cost of tuition. For example, the federal TEACH Grant awards up to $4,000 per year. Some grants offer less, while others offer more, even as much as full tuition coverage. However, these circumstances are rare and can be quite competitive.
To be eligible for most education grants, you need to be pursuing a career in teaching and education. Most education grants apply to teacher certification programs and degrees in fields suffering from a teach shortage, like math, science, or technology. Also, you must meet the requirements to receive federal financial aid, as most education grants are need-based. Some grant programs will also require you to teach in specific areas for a determined length of time. The federal TEACH Grant, for example, required grantees to teach in a high-need field for four academic years in a low-income school within eight years of receiving the grant. If you fail to meet the terms of the service obligation, the grant will convert to a loan with interest. (Although some of the following examples are referred to as “scholarships,” they function the same way as grants.)
Types of Education Grants
- Alabama Space Grant Consortium Scholarship and Fellowship Program: Though the ASGC funds just one $1,000 teacher education scholarship per year, every member university in the state matches it on its campus.
- Dr. Marc Hull Special Education Leadership Scholarship: At least one $1,750 scholarship is awarded annually in memory of a former Vermont education commissioner who greatly advanced learning access for people with disabilities.
- Kentucky Early Childhood Development Scholarship: Bluegrass State residents pursuing a director’s certificate, associate’s degree, or a bachelor’s in early childhood education or a related program qualify for this program.
- Massachusetts Early Childhood Educators Scholarship: Depending on an education major’s type of school, he or she can receive up to $500 per credit through this state program.
- Minority Teaching Fellows Program: To encourage minority students to pursue teaching careers in the state, this program offers a $5,000 per year award.
- Oklahoma Future Teachers Scholarship: Recipients of this maximum $1,500 annual award agree to teach for at least three years in a shortage area of the state after graduation.
- Oregon PTA Teacher Education Scholarship: This $500 award for students who wish to teach at the elementary or secondary level is non-renewable, but students may re-apply each year.
- Pell Grant: The federal Pell Grant is only for undergraduate students and is also a need based grant. Students can receive up to $5,500 per year depending on their need. In some cases, students pursuing a post-baccalaureate teaching certificate can receive a Pell Grant.
- Rudolph Dillman Memorial Scholarship: The American Foundation for the Blind annually sponsors four undergraduate or grad students studying to be educators of the blind or visually impaired.
- Stony Wold Herbert Fund Research Grants and Fellowships: To promote the training of teachers in the respiratory disease disciplines, this fund offers fellowships and grants of up to $25,000 per year.
- TEACH Grant: The federal TEACH Grant is a need based grant for students who agree to teach a high-need subject for at least four years after their degree in order to receive an annual grant of up to $4,000 toward their tuition.
- The Graduate Institution National Educator’s Grant: The National Educator’s’ Grant at St. John’s College offers one-third of the program tuition for master’s programs in Liberal Arts or Eastern Classics for candidates with demonstrated financial need who also have at least three years of teaching experience.
- VCSU School of Education and Graduate Studies Scholarships: Valley City State University in North Dakota provides more than 30 scholarships of varying amounts to students majoring in education.
- Weaver Fellowship: If you want to teach at the college level, this fellowship from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute carries a $5,000 grant.