Federal TEACH Grant Information

The Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program is a new federal student aid program available to many education majors at SUNY Oswego.

Program Description

The TEACH Grant is a federal program designed to encourage students in certain education areas to teach in low-income schools.  This is a significant program for students who are eligible and are willing to commit to the service requirement attached to it.
Award Amount

The program allows for awards of $4,000 per academic year for full-time study for up to four years of undergraduate and two years of graduate level higher education.  Proportionate awards are available to part-time students.  Students may receive up to $16,000 for undergraduate study and up to $8,000 for graduate study and post-baccalaureate teacher certification coursework.

Eligibility Requirements

To receive a TEACH Grant you must:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. Be sure to list Oswego State as one of the colleges authorized to receive the information. Oswego's code is 002848.
  • Meet eligibility requirements to receive federal student aid
  • Be enrolled in a program of study designated as TEACH Grant-eligible. You must teach in a high-need field
    The following fields are considered high-need:
    • Bilingual Education
    • English Language acquisition
    • Foreign Languages
    • Mathematics
    • Reading Specialist
    • Science
    • Special Education

In addition to these fields, there is a state-by-state list.  If you want to be considered eligible based on a field from the state-by-state list, you will need to document to the Financial Aid Office what your goal is and how your current program will work to help you attain that goal.

  • You must meet one of the following academic achievement requirements:

As an entering freshman, have scored above the 75th percentile on a
college admissions test (e.g. SAT, ACT, GRE,)


Graduated from high school with a cumulative  GPA of at least 3.25 on
a 4.0 scale or an 88 on a 100 scale. In this case you will need to maintain
a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25(on a 4.0 scale) on college coursework to
receive a grant for each subsequent semester.


Current students who did not meet the criteria listed above at the time
of entering college, must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 to qualify.
They must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 each subsequent semester.

  • Complete TEACH Grant counseling requirements
  • Sign a TEACH Grant agreement to serve

Additional Notes and Comments about the Federal TEACH Grant

Financial Need Not Required

Eligibility for TEACH is not based on family income or financial need.  However, a student must complete a FAFSA application each year to receive TEACH.  The FAFSA is required in order for the college and the U.S. Department of Education to determine citizenship status and other basic eligibility requirements, and to establish a student record as a basis for payment of the awards.

Enrollment Status and Approved Programs

The student must be enrolled in an Education Degree Program at SUNY Oswego that leads to a teaching career in an identified high need field.  The identified high need teaching specialties as of this writing are:  mathematics, science, foreign language, bilingual education, special education and reading specialist.

TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay

Each year a TEACH Grant is received, a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement) must be signed. This will be available electronically on the Department of Education Web site.  The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment that the student understands that if they do not meet the teaching service requirements, they must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.

Service Commitment

Within eight years of graduation from a degree program (or any other separation from the College, the student must teach for four academic years in a low-income school in one of the above-listed "high need" fields as a "highly-qualified full-time teacher".

Failure to Meet Service Commitment

If the student is unwilling or unable to meet the service commitment after graduation, or if the student withdraws from the College without completing the education degree, the TEACH grant will revert to an unsubsidized Federal Direct Stafford Loan (student loan) with retroactive interest.  This can result in a substantial loan obligation when years of accrued interest are added to the original loan amount, so the TEACH grant is a commitment that should be carefully considered in advance.  Please consider this very seriously prior to agreeing to receiving this grant!

Highly-Qualified Teacher

The student must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher, which is defined in federal law.

Full-Time Teacher

The student must meet the state's definition of a full-time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51%) of their time teaching one of the high-need subject areas.  Elementary teachers who teach multiple subject areas would likely not be able to fulfill their service agreement.


The student must respond promptly to any requests for information or documentation from the U.S. Department of Education, even if they seem repetitive.  These requests will be sent to the student while in school as well as once they are out of school.  They will be asked regularly to confirm that they either still intend to teach or that they are teaching as required.  They must provide documentation to the U.S. Department of Education at the end of each year of teaching.

If the student temporarily ceases enrollment in their program of study or if they encounter situations that affect their ability to begin or continue teaching, they will need to stay in touch with the U.S. Department of Education to avoid their grants being converted to loans before they are able to complete their teaching obligation.