Becoming a teacher can be a costly – and let’s face it – a less than lucrative career path. This means that the process of repaying student loans can be incredibly difficult and lengthy. However, there are many grants available to students pursuing careers in teaching that can offset the costs of their education. This can be a tremendous boon for students and serves as an incentive for the training of more teachers.
If you are not eligible for Federal teacher loan forgiveness(or will still have private student loan) then you may want to check if private loan consolidation can save you money.
Without further ado, some of the grant options available to student pursuing teaching:
Federally, the Pell Grants and Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants have direct stipulations regarding training to become an educator. The Pell Grant extends its eligible pool of candidates from undergraduate students at colleges and universities to those that are enrolled in teacher certification programs. The TEACH Grant is given to undergraduates who intend on becoming teachers; signing on as a TEACH Grant recipient obligates the recipient to teach 4 complete academic years at a school that serves low-income families.
On the individual state level, many states will offer grants specifically tailored to teachers as well. In Alaska for instance, part of the AlaskAdvantage Education Grant Program has specific stipulations that tailor it towards students enrolled in studies related to teaching.
In California, the California Student Aid Commission gives eligible teachers in the state of California up to $19,000 to repay their loans after teaching at a low-performing California public school for 4 years.
In Connecticut, the CT Minority Teacher Incentive is awarded to a college junior or senior who attends a CT college or university and is enrolled in a teacher preparation program. Not only does the grant give up to $5,000 per year over 2 years, it also offers to reimburse up to $10,000 in loans, split over 4 years if the recipient teacher opts to teach at a CT public school.
Private foundations may also offer to fund specific masters programs for teachers to serve high-need geographic areas and to teach subjects like mathematics and science. The Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation gives up to $30,000 to teachers in order to obtain their masters in teaching to service specific student populations.
Private Consolidation & Refinancing
If you are wanting to lower your monthly payments in order to make your student loans affordable and continue teaching then a loan consolidation may be your answer. A private loan consolidation or refinance can combine your student loans into a singular student loan and offer better repayment terms. Since you are a teacher you will likely have little issue qualifying. The best option would be to compare multiple rate from credit unions to see who can offer the most attractive terms.
It is important to understand that many stipulations are tagged onto some of these grants. Make sure that teaching is really the right career path for you, and that you are ready to fulfill the obligations that many of these grants require. Often, this will require a certain number of years, as well as placement within areas that are specifically targeted for their low-income, low-scores, and therefore high need situations. It is by no means an obligation that is to be taken lightly; the ups and downs of dealing with students that are troublesome, as well as the pressure of having to raise scores by specific quotas. Failure to fulfil the obligations of specific grants may result in withdrawal of funding and perhaps worse, a defaulting of past grants into loans that must be paid off.
Learn more about how to apply – here