University of South Carolina

Financial Aid & Scholarships

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Teacher Education Assistance

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant was established by the federal government in 2007 to encourage highly qualified teachers to serve low income schools in high-need fields. Institutional participation in the program is optional; USC Columbia began its participation in the Fall of 2009.

TEACH Grant applicants must complete the FAFSA and enroll in a program (major) that prepares them to teach in either a federally defined high-need field1 or in a field classified as high-need by state².

As a requirement for receiving a TEACH Grant, students must agree to teach a majority of classes in a high-need field at a low-income³ public or private elementary or secondary school, as a highly-qualified teacher. Students must teach full-time for at least four academic years within the first eight years of completing the program of study for which the TEACH Grant was received.

TEACH Grants will be converted into Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans, with interest accrued from the date of disbursement of each grant received, for students who do not meet, in full, all required teaching obligations. TEACH Grants converted into loans can never be converted back into grants.

Questions regarding the TEACH Grant may be directed to our office.

¹Federally defined high-need fields:
 Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
 Foreign Language
 Reading Specialist
 Special Education

²Department of Education's Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing (by state):

³Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits: go to and click on the Search button.