The TEACH Grant

Beginning fall 2008, Stephen F. Austin will participate in the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program. The TEACH Grant, designed to promote an increase in the field of teaching, will be available to qualified SFA undergraduate students or graduate students who are intending to be certified teachers in “high-need” (as defined by the Department of Ed) fields of study.

NOTE:  A unique feature of this new grant is that it will convert to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan if the Service Agreement conditions of the grant are not met. If recipients do not complete this service obligation, all amounts of the TEACH Grants will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan and must be repaid to the U.S. Department of Education.  They will be charged interest from the date the initial grant(s) was disbursed.

Teaching Service Obligation

As a TEACH Grant recipient you must agree to:

  • Teach as a highly-qualified teacher for at least four academic years within eight calendar years after completing the program for which you received the grant. 
  • Teach in a “high-need” field (mathematics, science, special education, foreign language, bilingual education, reading specialist, technology, or other “high-need” fields as designated by the state and listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide listing.
  • Teach in a private or public elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students and listed in the Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.

Counseling and Agreement to Serve

Students interested in receiving a TEACH grant must receive initial, subsequent and exit counseling.  The counseling requirement for SFA will be online and will cover your rights and responsibilities as a recipient.   In addition, you must sign an Agreement to Serve (ATS) every year before the grant can be disbursed.  The ATS specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded and the teaching service requirements listed above.  In signing, you are acknowledging that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you will repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed.

TEACH Grant Amount
The TEACH Grant Program provides up to $4000 per scheduled award year ($16,000 total for an undergraduates; $8,000 for graduates). If you are enrolled less than full-time (12 credits for undergraduates; 10 credits for graduates) you will receive a pro-rated amount.  Please note: the amount of the TEACH grant is considered a resource toward determining your eligibility for other aid.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • You must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Please note that financial need is not required. The 2008-2009 FAFSA is available at
  • You must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • You must be an accepted undergraduate or graduate enrolled in a TEACH grant eligible program.
  • You must have a cumulative SFA GPA of a least 3.25 at time of disbursement. New transfer students must have at least a 3.25 cumulative transfer GPA.
  • You must complete online counseling each year you receive the grant and/or when you cease to be enrolled less than half-time.
  • You must sign an “Agreement to Serve” each year you receive the grant. 

Anticipated Notification and Award Timeline
After September 15, 2008, if you are enrolled fall 2008 in eligible undergraduate or graduate program, you will be directed to an online counseling tool. If you are interested in receiving the TEACH grant, please follow the instructions to complete this requirement.   Complete the online counseling session at

Once we have received electronic confirmation that you have completed the counseling, we will verify your eligibility for the grant.  If you meet all criteria as listed above, we will award the grant for the applicable semesters.  At that time you will also be directed to complete the Agreement to Serve. Once we receive notification you have signed the ATS, we will release the grant. Please note that in some cases, your financial aid (typically loans) will be adjusted. Complete the online Agreement to Serve at

If you have any questions concerning this program and/or process, please contact our office.   You may read more information and details concerning this grant by visiting the U. S. Department of Education web sites:


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