Let's face it...

You have questions. Use your Western email and drop us a line at finaid-info@wmich.edu. You can call Bronco Express at (269) 387-6000 or visit them in the Bernhard Center. No appointment needed!

Hours are 8 a.m.-5p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday.

TEACH grant

Western Michigan University students may wish to participate in the U.S. Department of Education's TEACH (Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education) grant program.

Please note: due to the federal sequester, the TEACH maximum at this time has been reduced from $4,000 to $3,728 for first disbursements made beginning Oct. 1, 2015.


warning Important warning

We strongly encourage you to consider that this grant has a high potential of turning into a LOAN. It is estimated that 80 percent of students who participate in the TEACH grant program will be unable to use the funds as grants. These students will see their funds converted to a federal direct unsubsidized loan with accumulated interest. If you are not already committed to teaching full time in a high-need subject in a school serving low-income students you should not consider this as a possible source of aid.  A student who receives a TEACH grant and fails to fulfill the terms of the Agreement to Serve (ATS) will incur substantial indebtedness.


The TEACH grant program will provide up to $4,000 per academic year ($16,000 total for undergraduate programs; $8,000 total for graduate studies) in grants to students enrolled full-time who are enrolled in TEACH-eligible programs with the intent  to teach full-time in high-need subject areas at schools that serve students from low-income families. Students enrolled less than full-time will receive a prorated amount per term.

NOTE:  Total financial aid may not exceed the cost of attendance so receiving a TEACH grant may reduce your eligibility for other types of financial aid.

Teaching obligation

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. 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.

IMPORTANT: If you fail to complete this service obligation, all funds you received from the TEACH grants will be converted to a federal direct unsubsidized loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date your grants were disbursed.

High-need fields

High-need fields can be found online at the Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing.Off site link The high-need field must be designated as such for the State in which you are teaching at the time you begin teaching. This means the TEACH-eligible program you choose now might no longer be eligible by the time you begin your teaching obligation. Current high-need fields are:

  • Bilingual education and English language acquisition
  • Foreign language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading specialist
  • Science
  • Special education
  • Other fields as designated by the Federal goverment, State goverment, or a local educational agency.

Low-income schools

See the U.S. Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits online for current information. Low-income designation is made at the individual school level, not the school district level.

Eligibility and maintenance criteria

  • View a list of WMU's TEACH-eligible programs here.
  • You must confirm within 120 days of completing or otherwise ceasing enrollment in your teacher preparation program that you are fulfilling (or plan to fulfill) the terms and conditions of your service agreement.
  • You have eight years from the time you complete your program of study to complete four years of qualified teaching.
  • Once you are teaching in a qualified school in a qualified program, your school administrator must notify the U.S. Department of Education each year that you are meeting your teaching obligation.
  • You may cancel your TEACH grant while you are a student by returning the funds disbursed to your account within 14 days after the grant has been disbursed by contacting the Financial Aid Office
  • You may request your TEACH grants be converted to a loan if you determine you cannot meet the service obligation by contacting the U.S. Department of Education. This loan will be serviced by FedLoan Servicing (PHEAA).

Apply for the TEACH grant program

If it sounds like the TEACH grant is for you, there are several steps you must complete in order to apply and receive your grant funds. See complete information here.


Updated: 05/20/2015 9:51 AM

Visit related WMU sites

There is a lot more to see! Visit some of our friends at WMU to learn about academics, campus life and how you can be successful.

Student Financial Aid
1903 W Michigan Ave
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5337 USA
269 387-6000 finaid-info@wmich.edu