Federal Funding Programs | Chatham University, Pittsburgh, PA

Chatham University

Federal Funding Programs for Teachers

M.A. in Teaching students can utilize federal funding programs to help offset the costs of tuition or qualify for student loan forgiveness. Please review the following programs to determine applicability to your area of interest and service.


The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant provides grants of up to $4,000 a year to students who are completing or plan to complete course work needed to begin a career in teaching.

As a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve in which you agree to (among other requirements) teach:

  • in a high-need field
  • at an elementary school, secondary school, or educational service agency that serves students from low-income families
  • for at least four complete academic years within eight years after completing (or ceasing enrollment in) the course of study for which you received the grant
  • If the student does not complete their service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. The loan is then repaid to the U.S. Department of Education, with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grant was disbursed.

To receive a TEACH Grant, students must:

  • Be eligible for federal student aid
  • Complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate, postbaccalaureate, or graduate student at a school that participates in the TEACH Grant Program
  • Be enrolled in a TEACH Grant-eligible program (a program of study that is designed to prepare you to teach as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need field and that leads to a bachelor's or master's degree)
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on SAT or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25)
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and complete Entrance Counseling every year that you receive TEACH Grant funds

In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to the following:

  • Serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight years after you complete or otherwise cease to be enrolled in the program(s) for which you received TEACH Grant funds
  • Perform teaching service as a highly qualified teacher at a low-income school or educational service agency
  • Teaching service must be in a high-need field
  • Provide the U.S. Department of Education with documentation of your progress toward completing your service obligation

If you do not meet the requirements of your service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to an unsubsidized loan. You must repay this loan in full, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.

High-need fields are:

  • bilingual education and English language acquisition,
  • foreign language,
  • mathematics,
  • reading specialist,
  • science, and
  • special education

Other high-need focus areas can are present as fields that have been identified as high-need by the federal government, a state government, or a local education agency, and that are included in the annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing (Nationwide List).

Teacher Loan Forgiveness

Under the Teaching Loan Forgiveness Program, teachers who serve full-time for five complete and consecutive academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools and educational service agencies that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications, may be eligible for $17,500 of combined forgiveness on Direct Subsidized and Unsubsidized Loans and Subsidized and Unsubsidized Federal Stafford Loans. Learn more »


Public Service Loan Forgiveness

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance of their Direct Loans after they have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full time by certain public service employers. Learn more »