The Department of Education has made changes to the Teacher Training Assistance Grant program for college and graduate studies to provide greater flexibility and alleviate the challenges faced by former recipients of grants to navigate the program.
In return for a grant of up to $ 4,000 per year for students to complete their teacher training courses, TEACH grant recipients are required to complete four years of teaching in a high-need field and an underserved school over an eight-year period or their grants will be converted into direct unsubsidized loans. The new regulations are more lenient as to when scholarships will be converted into loans – if grantees do not certify their completed academic year at the end of each year, they will only be converted if they run out of time to complete the academic year. years of service required. Grants will also no longer be converted if grantees do not certify that they will begin teaching within 120 days of graduating or leaving an institution.
The review process will now be open to all TEACH grant recipients whose grants have been converted into loans, and additional relief will be provided to those whose grants have been converted in error.
The department has increased the number of reasons why the service obligation can be suspended for a period of time, and a grantee can teach for less than a full academic year but still receive credits for the full year. It will also allow recipients to consolidate service obligations at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
The changes to the program come as the Biden administration explores further improvements through the U.S. Plan for Families, including doubling the grant amount, further increasing the flexibility of the program, and addressing rates of high conversions from grant to loan.
âThe changes announced today bring much-needed improvements to the TEACH grant,â Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said. in a press release. “And, through the U.S. Plan for Families, even greater investments will be made in the program to strengthen teacher pathways in the profession, support teacher retention, and address critical teacher shortages so every child across America can be taught by educators. “