Federal TEACH Grant


The TEACH Grant is available to both undergraduate and graduate students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years, at schools that serve students from low income families.  The TEACH Grant is not need-based and recipients can be enrolled less than half-time.  However, recipients must otherwise be eligible for federal financial aid and must meet SAP.  

The statutory maximum annual award is $4,000; however, this amount is subject to revision by the U.S. Department of Education and the federal sequestration cuts.  The lifetime statutory limits are $16,000 for an undergraduate student and $8,000 for a graduate student.

It is very important to note that if you receive the TEACH Grant but do not fulfill the obligations and/or requirements of the program, the TEACH Grant will permanently convert to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest accrued and capitalized from the original disbursement date.  

Additional TEACH Grant information



To receive the TEACH Grant, a student must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and meet the eligibility criteria for federal student aid
  • Complete a FAFSA and submit it to NAU,  although you do not need to demonstrate financial need
  • Be enrolled in a TEACH Grant eligible program at NAU
  • Achieve and maintain certain minimum academic requirements:
    • A student must have a 3.25 cumulative GPA to receive and renew the TEACH Grant
    • For transfer students, the GPA will be based on your previous institution’s cumulative GPA; for new freshman it will be based on your high school cumulative GPA
    • If the minimum GPA is not met for first-time recipients at NAU, a national standardized college admission test (i.e. the ACT, SAT, GRE or GMAT) may be used if the student scored above the 75th percentile
  • Complete the TEACH Grant Counseling and Agreement to Serve (ATS) annually at https://teach-ats.ed.gov/ats/index.action.  These both must be completed annually and before the award will be made
TEACH Grant-Eligible Programs of Study at NAU

The following programs are the only programs eligible for a student to receive the TEACH Grant at NAU.  NOTE:  Post-Baccalaureate students are not eligible at NAU.

Undergraduate programs:

  • Secondary Education - Biology (BSED)
  • Secondary Education - Chemistry (BSED)
  • Secondary Education - Earth Science (BSED)
  • Secondary Education - General Science (BSED)
  • Secondary Education - Mathematics (BSED)
  • Secondary Education - Physics (BSED)
  • Secondary Education - French (BSED)
  • Secondary Education - German (BSED)
  • Secondary Education - Spanish (BSED)
  • Special and Elementary Education (BSED)
  • NOTE:  The BS in Elementary Education and BS in Early Childhood Education (alone) do not qualify for the TEACH Grant

Graduate programs:

  • Bilingual and Multicultural Education - Bilingual (MED)
  • Bilingual and Multicultural Education - ESL (MED)
  • Mathematics Education (MS)
  • Science Teaching (MA)
  • Spanish Education (MAT)
  • Special Education - Cross-Categorical High Incidence Certified (MED)
  • Special Education - Early Childhood Special Education with Certification (MED)
  • Special Education - Severe/Profound Certified (MED)
  • Teaching Science with Certification (MAT)
Agreement to Serve

Each year you receive the TEACH Grant, you are required to sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay service agreement that is available on the Department of Education website.  

The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements and includes an acknowledgement that you understand the consequences of not meeting the teaching service requirements. 

If that occurs, you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.

Fulfillment Obligations

In order for a TEACH Grant recipient to maintain the award in grant status, you must teach at least four (4) full years as a full-time teacher within eight (8) years after completing your program or ceasing enrollment.  You must teach a high-need subject as your primary duty (at least 51% of your time) and in a designated school that serves low-income students.  Elementary teachers that teach multiple subjects will not be able to fulfill these terms, which is why the BS in Elementary Ed and the BS in Early Childhood Ed are not eligible.  You must also complete and submit an annual certification and comply with all other requests from the Department of Ed (they will contact you).

  • For a current directory of schools that qualify as a low-income, a searchable directory is available and updated annually. 
  • All elementary or secondary schools operated by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) or operated on Indian reservations by Indian tribal groups under contract or grant with the BIE qualify as low-income schools.
  • For a current list of nationwide high-need and teacher shortage areas, an online database is available, listed by state. 

NOTE:  It is up to the university to determine eligible programs, so while there may be teacher shortage areas in this list, it may not be an eligible program.  Likewise, what may be an eligible program at one university may not be eligible at another university.

General FAQ about the TEACH Grant

Failure to fulfill all obligations will result in the TEACH Grant permanently converting to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest accrued and capitalized from the original disbursement date.  

Current TEACH Grant Amounts

As previously noted, the statutory annual limit for the TEACH Grant is $4,000 and the lifetime limits are $16,000 (undergrad) and $8,000 (graduate).  While the award amount cannot legally be above these limits, the awards can be adjusted each fiscal year by Congress.  There have been two adjustments over the past year, due to the onset of the federal sequestration cuts in March of 2013.   While the initial cut was significant, the subsequent adjustment actually restored some funding to the program.  Current awards are as follows:


Enrollment Status

Award Amount

Full-Time (12 or more credits/term)

$1,854/semester; $3,708/aid year

3/4 Time (9-11 credits)

$1,390/semester; $2,781/aid year

Half-Time (6-8 credits)

$927/semester; $1,854/aid year

Less than Half-Time (1-5 credits)

$464/semester; $927/aid year



Enrollment Status

Award Amount

Full-Time (9 or more credits/term)

$1,854/semester; $3,708/aid year

3/4 Time (7-8 credits)

$1,390/semester; $2,781/aid year

Half-Time (5-6 credits)

$927/semester; $1,854/aid year

Less than Half-Time (1-4 credits)

$464/semester; $927/aid year

TEACH Grants are awarded by term, meaning if you are full-time one semester and half-time the next, your awards would be $1,854 and $927, respectively.  It is important to also note that the federal government’s fiscal year operates from October 1 to September 30, meaning new award amounts after October 1, 2014 may adjust again.  This will not affect existing awards or awards already disbursed by September 30th.

High-Needs Fields of Study

High-Need Fields of Study include:

  • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Specialist
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Other teacher shortage areas documented as high-need by the Federal or State government, a local education agency approved by the Department of Education and listed in the Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing at the time you begin your teaching service.  
Serving Low-Income Students
Schools serving low-income students include elementary or secondary schools listed in the Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.  
Now What?

Potential TEACH Grant recipients need to “self-identify” and request the award since eligibility needs to be reviewed each year (contrary to popular belief, the award is not automatic and we do not receive any notification if a student completes the ATS and counseling). 

If you have reviewed all of the information about the TEACH Grant and are interested in learning more, want to verify your eligibility, have further questions -or- have already received a TEACH Grant and want it awarded for the current or future term, contact us at Financial.Aid@nau.edu and we will respond as quickly as possible!


Additional information

Failure to complete the teaching obligation, respond to requests for information, or properly document your teaching service will cause the TEACH Grant to be permanently converted to a loan with interest. Once a grant is converted to a loan it cannot be converted back to a grant.

It is very important to be well informed and make careful considerations before applying for this funding. If you do not fulfill all obligations tied to this grant, the funding will be converted to an unsubsidized loan with interest accruing from the date the grant originally disbursed to your student account. 

Federal regulations require that students who have received a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) complete an exit counseling session upon withdrawing or graduating from their program of study.  The TEACH Grant Exit Counseling session provides information about the terms and conditions of a TEACH Grant service agreement, as well as the rights and responsibilities that apply if your TEACH Grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.


For detailed information regarding exit counseling, you may download or view the exit counseling guide at https://teach-ats.ed.gov/ats/factsheet.action. To complete the exit counseling, have your FAFSA PIN and log in here:  https://www.nslds.ed.gov/nslds_SA/


For more information about pursuing a TEACH Grant-eligible program at NAU, contact the College of Education Division of Student Services at 928-523-2611 or 928-523-2145, or via email at COE.StuServ@nau.edu.  

For more information about receiving a TEACH Grant, contact the Office of Student Financial Aid at 928-523-4951, or via email at Financial.Aid@nau.edu.