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
- Minority Teaching Fellows Program: To encourage minority students to pursue teaching careers in the state, this program offers a $5,000 per year award.
- Pell Grant: The federal Pell Grant is only for undergraduate students and is also a need based grant. Students can receive up to $5,645 per year depending on their need. In some cases, students pursuing a post-baccalaureate teaching certificate can receive a Pell Grant.
- 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.
- Weaver Fellowship: If you want to teach at the college level, this fellowship from the Intercollegiate Studies Institute carries a $5,000 grant and payment of tuition.
- Knowles Science Teaching Foundation: Fellowships are offered to individuals who have received a Bachelor's in math, science, or engineering and are on their way to teaching high school science or math in the U.S. Fellowships of approximately $150,000 can be awarded for up to five years throughout the teaching credential process, providing tuition assistance, monthly stipend support, and material funds.
- Teachers of Tomorrow: In addressing the demands of New York City's highest-need schools, Teachers of Tomorrow, a state-funded grant program, is devoted to bringing in qualified teachers to the city's most challenging schools through recruitment incentives and tuition reimbursement.
- Transition to Teaching: The Transition to Teaching grant program works to recruit and retain highly qualified midcareer professionals and recent graduates of Institutions of Highe Education (IHEs) to teach in high-need schools and districts through the development and expansion of alternative routes to teaching certification.
- Teachers for a Competitive Tomorrow (TCT): The TCT initiative offers two types of discretionary grant programs: 1) Programs for Baccalaureate Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, or Critical Foreign Languages, with Concurrent Teacher Certification (TCT-B) and 2) Programs for Master's Degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, or Critical Foreign Language Education (TCT-M). Both programs work to provide individuals with teaching certifications and enhance the teacher's content knowledge in STEM fields, or critical foreign languages.