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Office of Financial Aid

Types of Financial Aid


Federal TEACH Grant

The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $3,964.40 per year to students who are completing, or plan to complete, course work needed to begin a career in teaching. As a condition for receiving a TEACH Grant, students must agree to teach in a high-need field, at a school that serves students from low-income families, for at least four academic years within eight years after completing your degree.

If a student does not complete the service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds are converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that must be repaid to the Department of Education with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grant was disbursed.

IMPORTANT:  As a result of sequestration, the annual maximum TEACH Grant award was reduced from $4,000 to $3,760. For students receiving their first TEACH Grant disbursement on or after October 1, 2013, the maximum TEACH Grant award was changed to $3,964.40. Funding for the TEACH Grant has not been guaranteed by legislators after the 2013-2014 academic year. Legislators could decide to discontinue the program in the future. Students are encouraged to make their decisions to accept the TEACH Grant with the understanding that TEACH Grant funding may not be available in future academic years. Students who receive any TEACH Grant funding, even just for one year, must still complete the four year teaching service obligation to avoid having the TEACH Grant converted to a loan.


Winthrop University students will need to meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for the TEACH Grant:

  1. Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  3. Be enrolled in a program of study that is designed to prepare you to teach as a highly qualified teacher in a high-need field that leads to a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Students seeking a second bachelor’s degree are not eligible for the TEACH Grant.
    • Federal high-need areas include:  Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition, foreign language, mathematics, reading specialist, science, special education.
    • Other High-Need Teacher Subject Areas as of the time recipients receive the grant or as of the time they begin teaching in that field.
    • SC critical subject areas/high-need fields include:
    BIOL Biology READ Reading
    CHEM Chemistry SBIO Secondary Biology
    ENGL English SEND Secondary English
    FACS Family and Consumer Sciences SMAT Secondary Mathematics
    MATH Mathematics SPED Special Education
    MLAN Modern Language SSPA Secondary Spanish
    MLED Middle Level Education THRT Theater


    • MAT5 students in the following areas will also be eligible to apply for the TEACH Grant if they meet the other eligibility criteria. Please contact Dr. Beth Costner or Brandi Thompson for more information on certification and requirements.
    Biology Social Studies (additional requirements may apply)
    English Chemistry (available 2012)
    Mathematics Spanish


  4. GPA or test scores
    • New Freshmen
      • Have a high school GPA of 3.25 or greater on a 4.00 scale OR have a test score on a nationally recognized college admissions test (e.g. SAT or ACT) that is above the 75th percentile. Winthrop University’s Office of Admissions does not receive the percentile of your scores. You would need to provide this documentation to the financial aid office. You may be charged a fee to receive archived SAT/ACT scores. Therefore, you may want to first check with your high school to see if they can provide the information.
      • Note - New Freshmen cannot be reviewed for the TEACH Grant until the final high school transcript has been received and processed by Winthrop.
    • New Transfer Students
      • Your transfer GPA must be 3.25 or higher OR have a test score on a nationally recognized college admissions test (e.g. SAT or ACT) above the 75th percentile. Your GPA will be calculated using only the courses and grades that have been accepted toward your degree program at Winthrop.
    • New Graduate Students
      • Have at least a 3.25 cumulative GPA in undergraduate program OR have a test score on a nationally recognized college admissions test (e.g. SAT, ACT, GRE) above the 75th percentile.
    • Teachers seeking a Graduate degree
      • No GPA is required for current teachers or retirees from another occupation with expertise in a high-need field who are seeking a master’s degree, as well as current or former teachers who are completing a high-quality alter¬native certification, such as Teach for America.
    • Continuing Students (Undergraduate and Graduate)
      • Maintain a cumulative Winthrop GPA of at least 3.25 OR have a test score on a nationally recognized college admissions test (e.g. SAT or ACT) above the 75th percentile.

How to Apply

If you meet the requirements for the TEACH Grant, please e-mail the Office of Financial Aid and ask to be reviewed for the TEACH Grant. The Office of Financial Aid does not automatically award the TEACH Grant without a student request because the TEACH Grant reverts to a loan if the service obligation is not met.

Students who received the TEACH Grant in the previous academic year will be reviewed in early summer and offered the TEACH Grant award if they meet the TEACH Grant renewal criteria (e.g. eligible major and GPA).

After You Apply

You must complete the Agreement to Serve and Initial Entrance Counseling before your TEACH Grant can be disbursed. The ATS and Subsequent Entrance Counseling must be completed each year that you receive the TEACH Grant.

The amount of your Teach Grant disbursement each semester will depend on the number of credit hours you are enrolled in (75% of award for three-quarter time enrollment; 50% of award for half-time enrollment; 25% of award for less than half-time enrollment). You must maintain eligibility to receive the TEACH Grant (e.g. eligible major and GPA). A student’s eligibility will be reviewed prior to each TEACH Grant disbursement.

Undergraduate students can receive up to $16,000 in TEACH Grant funding during their program. Graduate students can receive up to $8,000 in TEACH Grant funding during their program.

After Graduation or Not Enrolled in School

You will have 8 years to complete your four year teaching service obligation. It can only be fulfilled at a low income area school. Your teaching service must be in a high-need field.

You must provide the U.S. Department of Education with documentation of your progress toward completing your service obligation. If you do not keep them informed, or do not meet the requirements of your service obligation, all TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest charged from the date the TEACH Grant was disbursed.