Are You Called to Be an Instructor? Education Grants

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Are you passionate about helping others reach their full potential? Do you have a gift in the area of instruction? If so, a career as a teacher, instructor, coach, or professor may have rolled around in your mind a time or two. If you’re looking for financial assistance with your degree, we’ve got good news for you. An education grant, designed especially for prospective instructors, may be an answer to your current college funding worries. Here’s the breakdown:

Need a Federal Grant for Your Education Major?

You’ve most likely already applied for a Pell Grant, which is the most popular and widely known federal grant among students attending college. However, did you also know there are federal grants created specifically to assist those seeking an education degree? –There are! The most common of these is the TEACH grant.

The TEACH grant provides education-seeking students with up to $4,000 every year to help with their college tuition and fees. There is a stipulation, of course. In order to apply for this grant, you must agree to teach for four years at a secondary or elementary school considered to be “at risk.” These schools are generally located in depressed and low-income areas where there is a high need for qualified and dedicated teachers.

Depending on the area, you may also be required to specialize in a certain area of education, such as foreign language, bilingual education, science, math, or special education.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in, you’ll definitely have a challenge ahead of you, but what could be more rewarding than the inner satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that comes from knowing you may have played an integral part in turning lives (or entire families) around?

To learn more, check out this fact sheet on the TEACH grant or obtain a more recent copy of the fact sheet from your local university.

State Education Grants and Foundation Grants

Federal grants are awards of financial aid offered by the U.S. government and federal agencies, while state and foundation grants are different. While all three may require a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which is always required for federal grants, state and foundation grants differ because of the organizations and governments funding the grants.

With state grants, funding is provided by state governments, and applications may be limited to students who are living or attending college in that specific state. State grants are generally provided based on need, merit, or both. Foundation grants are funded by a mixture of different organizations, government agencies, non-government agencies, companies, and citizens. While many of these grants may limit their funding to students in certain counties or states, some are much more flexible, allowing students across the country to apply.

If you are searching for education grants available through your state government or through a foundation, consider these.

  • The Assumption Program of Loans for EducationThis program, or APLE, is available in California and has been created to help fill the gap in areas of education where there are not enough teachers. While there is not enough money currently in the budget for awards to be presented during the 2012-2013 school year, this program is still available and new awards are possible. During years when awards are available, the program can assume up to $19,000 worth of loans for education majors who wish to spend four years of their lives teaching in high need schools.
  • New York State Higher Education Services CorporationThis grant is available to education majors in New York who are specializing in math or science. Students can receive up to $5,295 a year if they are able to work as a science or math teacher in a secondary school for 5 years after they complete their degree.
  • Workforce Shortage Student Assistance Grant ProgramThis grant is available in Maryland and is open to many education majors. Awards vary, depending on whether you are attending a community college, attending a four year college, attending part-time, or attending full-time. Awards are between $1,000 and $4,000 a year, however, and renew each year up to the total cost of your education degree or $19,000.
  • The Robert G. Porter Scholars ProgramThis program provides ten $1,000 grants to students who are earning their education degree and are member of AFT, or The American Federation of Teachers. These grants can only be won once by a student, but students can also take advantage of a four-year $8,000 scholarship as well if they are members of AFT.

Are you taking advantage of every option available to you when it comes to funding your college degree? If you are majoring in the field of education, take advantage of the fantastic grants available through the federal government, foundations, and through various states. There’s nothing heroic about entering the work force with a mountain of unpaid college debt behind you.

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