NAICU Washington Update

Final TEACH Grant Regulations Published

The final rule for the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant program was published in the Federal Register (Vol. 73, No. 121, pages 35472-35507) on June 23. The $4,000-per-year TEACH grants are awarded to students, based on academic merit, who agree to teach for four years in a low-income school, and to do so within eight years of graduation.

Students must be enrolled in a TEACH grant program at a participating college, and must be completing course work necessary to begin a career in teaching - including majoring in a high-need field such as science, mathematics, or a foreign language. TEACH grants also are available for two years of graduate study preparing a student to teach.

Schools must provide counseling to students who wish to receive the grants, and who are willing to sign an agreement to fulfill the service agreement. If the service conditions are not met, the grant converts to an unsubsidized loan, with interest accruing from the date the TEACH grant was provided. Only death or total and permanent disability can excuse the grant recipient from the service obligation.

The Congressional Research Service has estimated that about 80 percent of the grants will convert to loans. The Department of Education explains in the discussion section of the regulation that the lack of flexibility is due to the strict legislative requirements.

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