Teachers have one of the most important jobs in the world. They hold the future of our country and our world in their hands, and they help shape young minds to do great things every day. Unfortunately, a lot of great teachers are discouraged from continuing their educations because the costs of undergraduate and/or graduate studies are so high.

However, because teachers are so invaluable to our future, the US Department of Education and numerous private organizations have created education grants for teachers. These grants are available to students pursuing education and careers in teaching and help many students reach their goals each and every year. You too could be one of those students if you know where to look for grant money!

The Federal TEACH Grant

The Department of Education sponsors a grant specifically for teachers called the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grant. If you qualify for this grant, you can receive up to $4000 per year toward your education, but you must understand that this grant money is only to be used toward classes in an educational program and that you must pursue a career in teaching after you graduate. If you do not fulfill these requirements, your grant will revert to a loan and must be paid back after graduation.

What do you need to do to be eligible for a governmental TEACH grant? You must agree to take on a teaching role in a high-need field, specifically teaching elementary or secondary school in an area servicing low-income families. You must also remain in a position like this that meets the requirements for the TEACH grant for at least 4 years in the first 8 years after you complete your degree.

Applying for a TEACH Grant

As with all other governmental grants and financial aid, to apply for the TEACH grant, you must first fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You must also be enrolled in a TEACH grant eligible program, meet minimum academic requirements, undergo TEACH grant counseling, and sign a TEACH grant Agreement to Serve. For more information on applying for this education grant for teachers, talk to your school’s financial aid office about specific state-by-state and school-by-school requirements for applying and enrolling in the program.

Other Governmental Education Grants for Teachers

Other education grants for teachers through the government can be found through Grants.gov or through the Department of Labor’s scholarship search site. Remember, also, that when you fill out your FAFSA, you will automatically be considered for formula grants awarded to students based solely on financial need. For example, the Department of Education and your school’s financial aid office will determine based on this information whether or not you qualify for a Pell grant, FSEOG (Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant), or other school-specific education grants for teachers and other students.

These formula grants will not require you to do anything more than fill out a FAFSA, as they are not competitive. The grants you’ll find at Grants.gov, on the other hand, are competitive and will usually include an essay, letters of recommendation, and/or some other requirements to be considered for eligibility.

The same is also true of almost all private education grants for teachers that you’ll find. While they will most likely be based at least in part on financial need – as is the case with almost all grants – there will also be other factors. For example, you may need to show that you’re the best representative for the grant foundation or corporation funding your education, or you may need to agree to teach in a certain field or a certain area after you graduate, as with the TEACH grant.

Finding Legitimate Private Education Grants for Teachers

When you search for education grants for teachers online, you’re almost immediately barraged by a bunch of websites that claim to have access to all of the scholarships and grants on earth. A lot of these sites, unfortunately, are scams and should be avoided. However, if you’re looking for grants for your education, you can start with a few trusted search sites, such as the Department of Labor’s scholarship search site and ScholarshipChart.com.

If you’re searching for education grants for teachers, you may also want to search for college scholarships for teachers, as well. Because both are awarded in a competitive manner, private grants and scholarships often have very similar application processes, and you can use this to your advantage.

Applying for Scholarships and Education Grants for Teachers

Look through your options for scholarships and grants. Pick out the ones that you are eligible to apply for and that are still open for submissions. Then get your calendar out and start planning.

Organize your application process like you would a lesson plan for a coming semester. Instead of putting everything off to the last minute, start planning immediately and set milestones to complete your first draft of your essay, to ask for letter(s) of recommendation, to completely fill out the application forms, etc.

Keep copies of everything you need for each application in a single binder. Even if you’re applying online, print and save copies of all of the necessary documentation and keep it all organized in this binder. This way, if you need to discuss an issue with your application on the phone or via email, you’ll have everything you need to access on hand.

Finding education grants for teachers isn’t hard, and the application process is not very complicated, either. Just stay on schedule and stay organized, and you should be able to fund your college education and follow your dream to become a teacher.

Search and Apply for Scholarships on ScholarshipChart.com

ScholarshipChart.com helps students and parents search and apply for scholarships, grants, awards and other financial aid options to help pay for college. Whether you are a high school senior starting college or a single mom going back to school, you can find money for college through ScholarshipChart.com.