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Teach Grant Program

Central Michigan University participates in the U. S. Department of Education's TEACH Grant Program, which was implemented during the 2008-2009 academic year.

Note: You should consider this source of aid as a grant that has a high potential of turning into a LOAN. If you are not already committed to teaching a high-need subject in a school serving low-income students, you should not consider this as a possible source of aid.

It is estimated that 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.

A student who receives $16,000 in TEACH Grants who fails to fulfill the terms of the Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (ATS) will incur substantial indebtedness. On a 10-year term, the monthly payments would be $315.60 for a cumulative payment of $37,871.

Amount of grant

The TEACH Grant Program will provide up to $4,000 per year ($16,000 total for four-year undergraduate programs; $8,000 total for graduate studies) in grants to students who plan to teach full-time in high-need subject areas at schools that serve students from low-income families. Grants will be prorated for part-time enrollment.

Under the Budget Control Act of 2011, additional sequester funding reductions took effect on October 1, 2013. The sequester changes the percentage by which TEACH grants must be reduced. TEACH grant awards where the first disbursement is made on or after October 1, 2020, must be reduced by 5.70% from the original statutory amounts.

Teaching obligation

In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students (see below for more information on high-need fields and schools serving low-income students). As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant.

IMPORTANT: If you fail to complete this service obligation, all amounts of the TEACH Grants that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date the grant(s) was (were) disbursed.

Student eligibility requirements

At Central Michigan University you must:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be accepted into the undergraduate Teacher Education program or the College of Graduate Studies Master of Arts in Special Education program and have a signed elementary or secondary education major or minor in a high-need subject.
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 and maintain that GPA throughout your academic program (or score above the 75th percentile on a national standardized college admissions test).
  • Complete TEACH Grant counseling and sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay each year.
  • Complete a TEACH Grant Checklist each year from Office of Educator Preparation Programs.
  • Undergraduate students are eligible only if they pursue their first undergraduate degree. Students pursuing a second undergraduate degree, teachers working on teacher certification, and graduate students with a "conditional admission" status are NOT eligible for the TEACH Grant. Graduate students are eligible only if they are pursuing a Master of Arts in Special Education or a Master of Arts in Reading and Literacy degree.
  • NOTE: CMU has determined the following major is NOT eligible for a TEACH Grant because students will be unable to fulfill the teaching requirements:
    • B.S. in Education - Elementary Provisional Certification students who do not have a high-need field major or minor.

High-need field

High-need fields are the specific subject areas identified below:

  • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition;
  • Foreign Language;
  • Mathematics;
  • Reading Specialist;
  • Science;
  • Special Education;

Other identified teacher shortage areas as of the time you begin teaching in that field. These are teacher subject shortage areas (not geographic areas) that are listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing

Schools serving low-income students

Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.

TEACH Grant agreement to serve

Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement), available electronically on a Department of Education Web site. The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements, you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed. Specifically, the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve will provide that:

  • For each TEACH Grant-eligible program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, you must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four elementary or secondary school years at a school or educational service agency that serves low-income students (view list of qualifying schools and educational agencies).
  • Complete the required four years of teaching within eight years after the student graduates from or otherwise ceases to be enrolled at the institution of higher education where they received their TEACH Grants. 
  • Meet all state certifications requirements for teaching in the state where the recipient teaches (may include meeting the requirements through certification obtained through alternate routes to teaching). 
  • Teach (in the majority of classes) in a high need field.
  • You must comply with any other requirements that the Department of Education determines to be necessary.
  • If you do not complete the required teaching service obligation, TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that you must repay, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement. If the grant is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.

How to apply

  • Students who are interested in receiving a TEACH Grant must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) every year. To initiate an application for the TEACH Grant, students must contact the Office of Educator Preparations Programs, College of Education and Human Services, EHS Building 421, Central Michigan University (989) 774-3309.