Federal TEACH Grant Program

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program that provides grants of up to $4,000 per year (currently $3,736 because of sequestration) to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. If, after reading all of the information below, you are interested in learning more about the TEACH Grant Program, you should contact the CofC Office of Financial Assistance. For additional information from the Department of Education see the TEACH Grant Fact Sheet.


In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students (see below for more information on high-need fields and schools serving low-income students). As a recipient of a TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received a TEACH Grant.

Eligibility at the College of Charleston

To receive a TEACH Grant you must meet the following criteria:
  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
  • Be a U.S. Citizen or eligible non-citizen.
  • Be enrolled as an undergraduate or graduate student in a postsecondary educational institution that has chosen to participate in the TEACH Grant Program.
  • Be a declared education major. See Teresa McNerney in the School of Education, Health, and Human Performance for more information.
  • Complete an electronic TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (see below for more information).
  • Complete the TEACH Grant counseling online (see below for more information).
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25).

High-Need Fields at the College of Charleston

High-need fields are the specific majors identified below:

  • All middle level areas
  • English/Language Arts*
  • Foreign Language: French, German, Latin, Spanish*
  • Mathematics*
  • Science: Biology, Chemistry, Physics*
  • Secondary Social Studies
  • Special Education (all areas)
  • *Students must have an Education concentration added to these majors.
  • Masters of Education 
         Science and Mathematics
  • Masters of Arts in Teaching
         Performing Arts
  • Certificate Programs
  •      Special Education

Schools Serving Low-Income Students

Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.

TEACH Grant Entrance Counseling

You must complete Teach Grant Entrance Counseling before completing the electronic Agreement to Serve.

You must complete TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling (TEACH Grant Counseling) each year you receive a TEACH Grant before you can sign an Agreement to Serve (ATS) for that year.

TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve

You must complete an electronic Agreement to Serve (ATS).

The TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were disbursed. Specifically, the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve will require the following:
  • For each TEACH Grant eligible program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, you must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight calendar years after you completed or withdrew from the academic program for which you received the TEACH Grant.
  • You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher at a low-income school. The term highly-qualified teacher is defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or in section 602(10) of the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act.
  • Your teaching service must be in a high-need field.
  • You must comply with any other requirements that the Department of Education determines to be necessary.
  • If you do not complete the required teaching service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan that you must repay, with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement. 

TEACH Grant Exit Counseling

Federal regulations require students who received a TEACH Grant complete an exit counseling session upon withdrawing or graduating from their program of study. The TEACH Grant Exit Counseling session provides information about the terms and conditions of a TEACH Grant service agreement, as well as the rights and responsibilities that apply if your TEACH Grant is converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan. To begin TEACH Grant Exit Counseling, click NSLDS Access Systems here. Then select Exit Counseling button.  Then select Start button.  If you are not ready to begin, or would like to review the TEACH Grant Exit Counseling content, click on the Tour button. While in Tour mode, you can review all TEACH Grant Exit Counseling content, but you will not be able to enter any data needed during a true TEACH Grant Exit Counseling session, nor will the Tour session satisfy your TEACH Grant Exit Counseling requirement.