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Available Scholarships for Teachers
Grants, loans and especially scholarships are administered based on a wide range of variables. Qualifications attached to financial aid are sometimes broad, but can also be very specific. For example, general need-based aid requires only that an applicant exhibit financial need during college, which opens eligibility to almost everyone with a tuition bill.
On the other hand, some financial aid funds are reserved for specific functions, like helping certain groups succeed, or encouraging academic excellence in specific areas. Minority scholarships and grants, for instance, target select groups to receive tuition assistance for college.
When the supply of well-trained professionals isn’t meeting the demand, financial aid is used to encourage students to go into certain fields. Targeted aid of this type is attractive to students who have not chosen a major, and to those who are already working toward degrees in high-demand fields.
Currently, college students pursuing teaching degrees are rewarded with privileged access to unique financial aid opportunities.
Elementary and secondary schools that enroll primarily low income children are suffering from shortages of competent teachers. As a result, pro-education efforts – including college tuition assistance - are originated at federal, state and local levels. Now, more than ever, undergraduates and graduate students are awarded career-specific college financial aid to pursue teaching credentials.
As an aspiring teacher, you are eligible for general financial aid too, but your pool of resources is instantly deepened by concerted efforts to bring qualified graduates to the profession. Government sources, professional associations and other private entities provide funding for grants and scholarships that serve education majors.
Teacher aid varies from performance based scholarships, to tuition-for-service agreements that require teaching commitments following graduation. Generally, grants are need-based and free of performance indicators. Scholarships, on the other hand, are often attached to eligibility standards like GPA. Both are free-money aid that doesn’t get paid back, so your bottom-line impact is the same.
State and Local Teaching Scholarships
Consult with your school’s financial aid office for up to date information about specific teaching scholarships in your area. If you’re just getting started in college, don’t overlook aid offered by your school or state. And if you’re nearing graduation, ask about scholarships that can be used to pay living expenses during your student teaching assignments.
While local teaching scholarships are often less rich than national awards, smaller applicant pools make them less competitive. Combine these smaller awards with larger scholarships to piece together your financial aid package.
- Milwaukee Area Teachers Scholarship - Marquette university supports working teachers with this tuition credit. If you are employed as a Wisconsin teacher, Marquette pays for half of a college class you take each semester. The flexible award does not require degree candidacy or other enrollment requirements, and is an example of one type of continuing education incentive available to teachers.
- West Virginia college students are eligible for Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarships, which can amount to $5000 annually. This example of tuition-for-service financial aid requires each recipient to work within the West Virginia school system for a period of two years for each year the scholarship is received. The teaching commitment is reduced to one-year, provided the teacher is employed at a high-need shortage-area school.
- Wisconsin Early Childhood Association, through its T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Wisconsin, is in the business of granting tailor-made tuition solutions to deserving, committed Wisconsin education professionals. The association has doled-out over 7000 scholarships since 1999, to aid professional development in early childhood education.
- Teachers of Tomorrow is a New York City Department of Education program devoted to recruiting qualified staffers to teach in the city’s most challenging schools. Tuition reimbursement and other incentives are used to bring qualified professionals to faculty positions at New York’s highest-need schools.
- Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority offers college aid to full-time, resident students pursuing teaching credentials within the state. Students who are juniors and beyond are eligible for up to $2500 each semester, under this program. When funding permits, freshmen and sophomores also qualify for scholarships.
- Corporate sponsors generously fund college scholarships for students studying primary and secondary education. The Coca-Cola Foundation supports education at international universities through its Coca-Cola Scholars initiative. Schools like Emory University use Coke dollars to fund scholarship programs for would-be teachers.
National Teaching Scholarships
National scholarships for education majors target future teachers, sometimes showing preference toward candidates studying in specific subject areas. These scholarships include:
- The Federal Government is the largest source of general financial aid, but Uncle Sam also runs programs targeting specific vocational pursuits. The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH) is a government initiative aimed at recruiting college graduates to teach in under-served areas.. Individual states run similar tuition-for-service programs that require students who receive assistance to work in specific jobs following graduation. TEACH recipients are each eligible for up to $4000 annually, in exchange for a four-year teaching commitment at a school that serves low-income students.
- AFCEA is an international organization dedicated to the ethical exchange of information. This IT and communications association provides scholarships annually, to students earning an education in the field of teaching. Each year, 50 students who pursue STEM-related teaching degrees are awarded scholarships valued at $5000 each. Graduate and undergraduates are considered for the scholarships, which require a 3.0 GPA.
- Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship is administered as an institutional program that provides funding to colleges, which they in turn distribute to worthy candidates pursuing education degrees. The awards specifically target K-12 educators teaching in math and science disciplines.
- Alpha Kappa Alpha’s Education Advancement Foundation furthers the sorority’s mission to promote educational excellence through several scholarship programs for member-students. The foundation devotes a certain portion of its scholarship funding to students who are education majors.
- The Phi Delta Kappa International Education Foundation awards scholarships of up to $1,000 annually, to high school seniors and current undergraduates pursuing careers in elementary or secondary education. PDK sponsors the Future Educators Association, administering more than 30 scholarships each year – exclusively for future teachers.
- National Board for Professional Teaching Standards offers its own scholarships for teachers. in many cases, awards are funded by private enterprise, including Liberty Mutual insurance, Boeing and Chase.
- Montessori is a teaching philosophy and educational movement dedicated to a core set of teaching principles. Students who wish to become Montessori teachers are encouraged by the American Montessori Society, through a series of education scholarships for attending AMS schools. Awards vary, but the society’s Zell Scholarship is worth $1000 annually.
- Bright Horizons Family Solutions, the world’s leading provider of employer-sponsored early care, offers four Bright Futures Scholarships worth $2,500 each, for full-time students currently pursuing degrees in early childhood education. Applicants must each submit an essay, resume, transcript, and letters of recommendation.
Teachers act as role models for a diverse student body, so qualified educators must be drawn from a wide cross-section of cultures and social groups. Some teaching scholarships specifically promote diversity by offering incentives to minorities and other groups that are under-represented in the field of education.
- The Hispanic Scholarship Fund partners with corporations and other donors to break down educational barriers for Latino students. Wells-Fargo and other big-name benefactors work with HSF to promote Hispanic education through scholarships and other initiatives that support education. HSF scholarship applications are submitted online.
- NAACP issues education scholarships to teaching students. Awards change periodically, but the organization recently awarded Sutton Education Scholarships worth $1000 to undergraduates, and $2000 to master’s degree candidates.
- The Siemens Foundation has partnered with the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund and the United Negro College Fund to award scholarships to undergraduate and graduate education students attending historically black colleges and universities. Preference is given to applicants pursuing math and science teaching credentials.
- The National Federation of the Blind Educator of Tomorrow Scholarship is worth $3,000 to a blind recipient planning a career in elementary, secondary, or post-secondary teaching. The scholarship is awarded based on the applicant’s record of scholastic excellence, financial need and community involvement.
Scholarships are bundled with other financial aid, including grants for teachers and student loans. And if you are a would-be teacher, who is also female, you might be eligible for women’s scholarships and grants.
The transition between high school and college is a tough one. It takes much more motivation and determination to not only become admitted into a school but also to pay for it. Having a handy scholarship guide is useful for students who need the extra boost. Fortunately, many books about scholarships and guides about how to receive them are readily available.
1. The Ultimate Scholarship Book: Billions of Dollars in Scholarships, Grants and Prizes by Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe
This book features information on thousands of scholarships and grants. A new version is published each year, with hundreds of new listings in each edition. Students will find the listings organized by career goal, major, community service, athletics, background and more. The listings include information about the application process and requirements as well as deadlines, award amounts and any restrictions. Students will also find an assortment of tips for searching for and winning awards.
2. How to Go to College Almost for Free by Ben Kaplan
Students worried about paying for college can get some advice from somebody who has been through it all. The author was able to fund most of his college education by winning scholarships and other awards after spending his final years of high school worried that he would be strapped with intense debt. Parents and schools recommend this book because it was written by somebody who actually used the information inside to find success. Kaplan includes his plan, step-by-step, as well as a few bits of inspiration to keep students motivated toward their goals.
3. Peterson’s Scholarships, Grants & Prizes
This Peterson book, published each year, provides information on millions of private awards available for college students, whether they are new or returning. This book is divided into sections about career goals, heritage, employment, talent and other categories. Each of the scholarships listed in this book are operated by corporations, organizations and foundations that students may not find on most scholarship websites. The book also lists eligibility requirements, deadlines and additional contact information for each award.
4. Confessions of a Scholarship Winner: The Secrets that Helped me Win $500,00 in Free Money for College – How You Can Too! By Kristina Ellis
This book was written by a woman who earned her way through college with scholarships after she lost her father and her mother could not afford to pay for her education. Ellis was an average student who created a plan to earn more than half a million dollars in awards. They paid for her entire education, from bachelor’s to doctoral degree. Not only does this book share Ellis’ story, but it also delves into secrets she learned about finding awards. Students will also find tips about making an impression during interviews and highlighting their strengths.
5. Paying for College without Going Broke by Princeton Review and Kalman Chany
This book, which includes a foreword by Bill Clinton, is published each year with updated information. The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times both recommended this book for high school students. Not only does this guide include scholarship and grant information, but it also features step-by-step instructions to completing the FAFSA and other important processes. Students will learn how much money they need for school and how to determine which awards are worth applying for.
6. Scholarship Handbook by The College Board
Each year the College Board releases a handbook for students looking to receive scholarships. Parents also recommend this handy guide because it also includes information about internships and loan programs. Plus, the College Board is up-to-date on all its information, helping students to avoid disappointment and wasting time on expired opportunities. Inside, students will also find a calendar and several worksheets to help organize scholarship applications.
7. The Financial Aid Handbook: Getting the Education You Want for the Price You Can Afford by Carol Stack and Ruth Vedvik
This book is written by two authors who understand how important it is to achieve a college degree. Stack and Vedvik’s handbook covers everything from choosing the right college to covering the tuition. This book is incredibly straightforward in its explanations and tips, making it a great read for both parents and students.
8. The Scholarship & Financial Aid Solution: How to Go to College for Next to Nothing with Short Cuts, Tricks and Tips from Start to Finish by Debra Lipphardt
Lipphardt’s book delves into the rising costs of college as well as the ways high school students can aim high without feeling disappointed. This book features a variety of scholarships, from academic awards to those based on volunteer work and minority status.
There’s also a large and lengthy grouping of unusual scholarship awards.
9. Debt-Free U: How I Paid for an Outstanding College Education Without Loans, Scholarships or Mooching off My Parents by Zac Bissonnette
Some parents claim that Bissonnette’s book can save new college students thousands of dollars in tuition without forcing students to get into debt. The author is an expert in finances and proposes data and analysis to help students move forward in college.
This book also focuses on choosing a graduate program and avoiding the system of college rankings.
10. How to Write a Winning Scholarship Essay: 30 Essays that Won Over $3 Million in Scholarships by Gen Tanabe and Kelly Tanabe
Most scholarship competitions use essays to determine who wins the award and this guidebook and provides students with tips and suggestions for earning scholarship money. This book features tips from both judges and scholarship applicants. The handbook also features essays that actually won awards so that students can see shining examples.
By seeing examples set by real scholarship winners, students are motivated to continue working. High school students often just need a boost in the right direction to move beyond showing potential to achieving high.