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.
Types of Education Grants
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.