Select Page


Under the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant. The TEACH grant program awards grants to students who intend to teach to help meet the cost of their postsecondary education. In exchange, recipients agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need subject, in a school serving low-income students for at least four academic years within eight years. Students who do not complete their teaching obligation will have to repay the TEACH grants as if they were a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accruing from the time the grant was disbursed.

Eligibility Requirements at Eastern Kentucky University

  • Must be an undergraduate or graduate student (Students pursuing a second bachelor’s degree are not eligible.)
  • Undergraduate students must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program through EKU’s College of Education’s Office of Teacher Education Services. Admission requirements and application process can be found online.
  • Must be enrolled in a TEACH Grant Eligible Major
  • Must maintain 3.25 cumulative GPA or score above the 75th percentile of national test scores (e.g. ACT, SAT, GRE)

Steps to Apply

General Information

  • Grant is not need-based aid.
  • Grant funds received cannot exceed cost of attendance.
  • Students can receive up to $1,886 per semester. (NOTE: As of October 1, 2021 all TEACH Grant disbursements have been reduced by 5.7 percent.)
  • The aggregate limit for undergraduate students is $16,000 and graduate students is $8,000.
  • Students enrolled less than full time will have the TEACH Grant award reduced according to the schedule established below:
  12 credit hours 9 credit hours 6 credit hours 3 credit hours
Undergraduate $1,886 per semester $1,415 per semester $943 per semester $472 per semester
Graduate $1,886 per semester $1,886 per semester $943 per semester $472 per semester

After Graduation Or No Longer Enrolled

  • Applicants will incur a 4-year teaching obligation for each educational program for which they received TEACH Grant funds.
  • Applicant has 8 years to complete the teaching obligation.
  • Current high-need fields are as follows:
    • Bilingual education and English language acquisition
    • Foreign language
    • Mathematics
    • Reading Specialist
    • Science
    • Special Education

For Years of Service to Qualify

  • Must teach in a high-need field and teach full-time – must meet the state’s definition of a full-time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching one of the high-need subject areas. Elementary teachers who teach several subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.
  • Must be certified as a highly qualified teacher
  • Must self-report teaching service after each year completed

Please note: If you do not complete the service requirement, grant funds will revert to an unsubsidized loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant was disbursed. Once a grant is converted to a loan it CANNOT be converted back to a grant.

If the Teaching Obligation Is Not Met

  • Grant funds will revert to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan with interest accrued from date grant was received.
  • Once the grant has been converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.
  • The chart below shows an example of the interest charged and repayment amounts for a student who received $16,000 of TEACH Grant funds and failed to meet the service obligation of the program.
  Conversion to Loan after 4 years Conversion to Loan after 8 years
Original Principal $16,000 $16,000
Estimated Interest
(assuming  6.8% interest rate)
$15,126.48 $21,137.94
Total $31,126.48 $37,137.94

TEACH Grants Will Be Converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan If:

  • The TEACH Grant recipient, regardless of enrollment status, requests the conversion.
  • Within 120 days of ceasing enrollment, the recipient fails to notify the U.S. Department of Education that he or she is employed, or intends to pursue employment, as a full-time teacher in accordance with the Agreement to Serve.
  • Within one year of ceasing enrollment the recipient has not:
    • Re-enrolled in a TEACH Grant eligible program.
    • Begun teaching service in accordance with Agreement to Serve.
    • The Grant recipient completes the course of study and does not actively confirm to the U.S. Department of Education, at least annually, his or her intention to satisfy the Agreement to Serve.
    • The Grant recipient fails to begin or maintain qualified employment within a timeframe that would allow the recipient to complete teaching service.

A TEACH Grant recipient whose grant has converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan is eligible for most benefits of the Federal Direct Loan Program, including a 6-month grace period prior to entering repayment and an in-school deferment.

Suspension of Eight-Year Period of Completion

Teach Grant recipients who have completed or ceased enrollment in a Teach Grant-eligible program may request a “suspension” of the eight-year period for completion of the service obligation based on:

  • Re-enrollment in a TEACH Grant-eligible program or a state approved teacher certification program.
  • A condition covered under the Family and Medical Leave Act.
  • Birth of a son or daughter.
  • Placement of a son or daughter with the recipient for adoption or foster care.
  • Caring for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition.
  • Serious health condition of the recipient.
  • Call or order to active duty status of more than 30 days as a member of Armed Forces Reserves or National Guard.

Suspensions cannot exceed a combined total of three years except for military service, which is unlimited. Grant recipients must apply for a suspension in writing and suspensions must be requested prior to being subject to a condition that converts the recipient’s TEACH Grant to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan.

Discharge of Service Agreement

The U.S. Department of Education will discharge your TEACH Grant service obligation only under the following conditions:

  • TEACH Grant recipient dies.
  • TEACH Grant recipient becomes totally and permanently disabled and meets certain additional conditions during a 3-year conditional discharge period.

If the Department discharges your service obligation under one of these two conditions, your TEACH Grant(s) will not be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan and neither you nor your family will be required to repay any TEACH Grant funds that you received.


You must respond promptly to any requests for information or documentation from the U.S. Department of Education, even if they seem repetitive. These requests will be sent to you while you are still in school as well as once you are out of school. You will be asked regularly to confirm that you either still intend to teach or that you are teaching as required. You must provide documentation to the U.S. Department of Education at the end of each year of teaching.

If you temporarily cease enrollment in your program of study or if you encounter situations that affect your ability to begin or continue teaching, you will need to stay in touch with the U.S. Department of Education to avoid your grants being converted to loans before you are able to complete your teaching obligation.