Pay for Your Teaching Degree with Grant Money
High-Demand Drives Incentive Grants
The need for qualified teachers, particularly in specific fields like science, mathematics and special education, has led to some highly accessible avenues of financial aid. Grants for educators are some of the most abundant, diverse and easy to find sources of college financial aid out there.
Consider grants from a variety of student perspectives:
- Teaching grants for undergraduates and graduate students
- Teaching grants for particular specializations such as Science, Nursing or Special Education
- Teaching grants for minority students
Each of these types of grants offer the student unique opportunities. When you pair your chosen discipline with your career goals you can narrow your scope and become much more effective in your search for grant money. Now consider grants for student teachers from various types of sources:
- Federal and state government
- Colleges and universities
- Private sources
Teacher Grants from Government Sources
Federal and State governments are prime sources for grant money designed to benefit students going into the field of education. The national educational infrastructure is eroding quickly, and part of that erosion is due to a lack of well-trained and inspired educators. Both Federal and State teaching grants have been designed to address a number of crucial issues facing the American educational system, including diversifying the pool of teachers in the country, increasing and improving the numbers and qualifications of science and mathematics teachers nationwide and increasing the presence of ell qualified teachers in urban and under-served communities. Some of the most accessible and beneficial government grant programs include:
- The Transition to Teaching Program which includes the Pell grant as well as various Federal loans and loan forgiveness programs for teachers taking up positions in historically under-served or at-risk communities.
- The Federal TEACH Grant Program annually awards grants of $4000 to qualifying students pursuing teaching degrees. Eligible candidates must be willing to teach in a U.S. public or private disadvantaged elementary school.
Colleges and Universities as Education Grant Sources
Colleges and universities will each have individualized programs of grants and scholarships specific to themselves. Most universities will offer grant awards to continuing students working on their thesis or dissertation, or to students working on research projects of particular interest to the university itself. Many colleges and universities also offer Faculty Development Grants designed to benefit student teachers by providing them with funds for travel, courses and other activities that will increase their effectiveness as teachers in the classroom.
The best strategy in searching for these grants is to contact the university directly. Speak to the financial aid adviser at your college of choice to inquire about any grants, and to obtain details on any and all eligibility requirements. Also, speak to the department head of your particular major for information regarding any grants specific to your field of study, as well as any grants applicable to students pursuing their teaching degree.
Private Sources for Grant Money
There are a number of private sources for grant money for prospective young teachers. These grants are made available from private philanthropic organizations, multinational corporations and large and small business associations. Many of these grants are designed to fill perceived needs in the educational sector, or are targeted at helping a specific portion of the population achieve a college education and move into a career in teaching.
Some of the higher profile sources of grant money for students pursuing a degree in education include:
- The Rockefeller Brothers Fund which awards up to $22,000 over five years to any qualifying minority student who agrees to take up a three year teaching position in an under-served public school.
- The Texas Instruments Demana Waits Fund, in cooperation with the National Council of Mathematics Teachers administers an annual grant for students studying to take up a position teaching secondary (grade 7 – 12) mathematics in the public school system.
- The Society of Physics Teachers offers an annual grant of $5000 to under-graduate students preparing positions teaching physics at the middle school and high school level.
The teaching profession is one of the most honorable and necessary careers a student can pursue. In recognition of that fact there are a number of government and private sector organizations devoted to helping students achieve their goal of becoming a well-trained and motivated teacher.