Scholarships & Financial Aid for Education Students
Grants, Student Loans, & Fellowships
You’ve made the decision to pursue a career in teaching or continue your education degree. You’ve found a school to attend. Now, you’re faced with the question of “how do I pay for college/graduate school?” Education students have many options. It’s just a matter of looking in the right places.
Start with your school of choice. Universities and colleges offer undergraduate and graduate teaching students a wide range of financial aid options. Federal financial aid is available, as are a variety of scholarships. Because education is a high-need career, there are additional options available to draw students to teaching careers. Many businesses and organizations also offer scholarships to students entering an accredited teaching program.
Three Main Types of Financial Aid for Teachers
- Institutional scholarships
- Other scholarships
- Federal financial aid
Institutional Education Scholarships
Most institutional education scholarships are awarded based on financial need and merit. Students seeking these scholarships should check the financial aid office, speak to the School of Education department heads, or admissions or financial aid representatives. Although qualifications and requirements may differ by institution, students must always apply for education scholarships in order to be considered. All education majors are strongly advised to seek out scholarships available from their college or university.
The number of scholarships available may vary by institution. At Eastern Michigan University, for example, scholarships are distributed through an endowment fund. This fund offers a variety of scholarships with specific qualifications for each award. Amounts awarded range anywhere from $350 to $3,000 per year. Some institutions may offer more, or less, scholarships depending on the department’s funds. The size of the institution may affect the amount of scholarships awarded, too.
Other Scholarships for Teachers
Scholarship availability goes beyond colleges and universities. In fact, many companies and organizations award scholarships for educators.
Here are examples of some scholarships offered by companies and organizations:
Horace Mann Scholarship Program —administered by Horace Mann. This company awards a total of $30,000 in Educator Scholarships to over 30 educators each year. The top scholarship is given in the amount of $5,000, payable over four years.
Prospective Secondary Teacher Course Work Scholarship —this scholarship awards $10,000 to outstanding students who are pursuing a secondary education degree in mathematics. This award is funded by Texas Instruments, through the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics.
Phi Delta Kappa International Education Foundation awards several scholarships to education students. For a complete list of scholarships, go to the foundation’s website.
Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers 25 awards of $2,500 each to Hispanic students seeking teaching degrees. This scholarship program is administered by State Farm Companies Foundation.
Siemens Teacher Scholarship partners with Thurgood Marshall College Fund to offer graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in historically black colleges and universities scholarships. Award amounts vary, based on financial need, and academic merit.
JEA Future Teacher Scholarships awards up to three $1,000 scholarships to education majors planning to teach journalism in high school. Applicants are required to submit an application, a 250-word essay, two letters of recommendation, and college transcripts.
IRTA Foundation Scholarship offers one education major $1,500 in scholarship money in the IRTA region.
Federal Financial Aid for Teachers
In addition to scholarships, education students can seek federal financial aid to defray the cost of college expenses. Most colleges and universities offer federal-funded financial aid for undergraduate and graduate students seeking teaching degrees.
Options typically include federal grants, college work-study programs, and federal loans. Grants are gift aid that does not have to be repaid. College work-study programs provide students the opportunity to work part-time to help pay for some expenses. Students typically work up to 20 hours per week. Education students can also consider obtaining federal loans to supplement any other aid they receive. The Teacher Loan Forgiveness program is special loan agreement with the option of partial or complete loan repayment, or forgiveness of federal student loans. In exchange, student teachers agree to work in high need areas for several years, such as low income public schools, with disabled children, or in early childhood programs.
Education students should find out if their school is eligible for the TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education), which is available to students who agree to teach in an underprivileged area after graduation. A list of qualifying schools is available here.
To be considered for federal financial aid, education students must complete the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA). It is important to apply as soon as possible, and prior to the school year in which you will be attending college. The deadline to submit the FAFSA is June 30.
Points to Keep in Mind for Education Students
With all the scholarships and financial aid out there for education students, it’s no wonder the process can become overwhelming. Here are a few points to remember:
- Research, research, research. It is important to investigate all avenues. Speak to financial aid staff, and admissions representatives to find all available aid options.
- Speak to the School of Education officials and see what your school has to offer education students.
- Be prepared before filling out the FAFSA, and apply online for faster approval. Make sure you have all pertinent information to fill out the form.
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