20 Teaching Scholarships to Pay for School
Even when the time seems right and you’ve made the commitment to pursue a bachelor’s or graduate degree in education, it can still be hard to come to terms with the cost of tuition. The National Center for Education Statistics’ 2018 report states that the average cost of yearly tuition, room and board at 4-year colleges is on average, around $22,000, and that figure just keeps rising.
That’s where college financial aid and teaching scholarships come in. Unfortunately, many students view scholarships as awards given to only the most extraordinary, sought-after and recruited athletes and valedictorians. This misconception often keeps well-qualified students out of the running for scholarships and financial assistance that could allow them to pursue their educational goals, enrich their life experiences, change their futures, and potentially open up rewarding career paths in teaching.
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20 Awesome Scholarships for Future Teachers
The truth is there are literally thousands of scholarships provided by universities, government programs such as the FAFSA, associations, nonprofits, and corporations. Teaching scholarships are available both regionally and nationwide, and many were created especially for students with specific career goals, cultural identities, histories of military service, and other personal attributes including single parents and adult learners. The secret to securing education scholarships is to locate the ones you qualify for and apply to as many as possible. Read on to learn about 20 exceptional teaching scholarships—you might just find a few options that are an ideal fit for you.
Overview: The TEACH Grant provides scholarships for education majors who commit to teach in high-need fields in low-income areas for at least four academic years.
Key criteria: Students must meet eligibility criteria for federal student aid, complete the FAFSA, be enrolled at a TEACH Grant-eligible program at a participating school, meet specific academic requirements, receive TEACH grant counseling, and sign an agreement to serve.
Award information: Up to $4,000 per year
How to apply: Contact the financial aid office at your school and ask if any programs are eligible for the TEACH Grant. Then request information on how to apply.
Overview: Want to inspire future generations of innovators with STEM? The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) provides scholarships to students pursuing graduate degrees or licensures to teach STEM subjects at K-12 schools in the U.S.
Key criteria: Applicants must be U.S. citizens living in the U.S. attending an accredited U.S. college or university on-campus and majoring in secondary education with the goal of teaching STEM. Students must also be in their second semester, taking two courses per term, with a current GPA of 3.5 or higher, and have already completed a B.S. degree in a STEM subject. Students enrolled in online programs should email email@example.com to inquire about eligibility.
Award information: $2,500 to $5,000
How to apply: Complete an online application and submit the following documents: a current official transcript, two letters of recommendation, current resume, and undergrad transcript.
Overview: Junior Fellowships are offered to high-achieving college seniors and college graduates who plan to earn a master’s degree to become secondary school teachers of American history, American government, or civics.
Key criteria: To be eligible, students must be a U.S. citizen, plan to become a teacher and teach topics on the Constitution in grades 7-12. They must also obtain a bachelor’s degree by August 31 of the year in which they are applying.
Award information: Up to $24,000 total
How to apply: Register online, complete the application, upload your transcripts, and submit recommendations online. The application deadline is March 1.
Overview: If you love math, this scholarship could be perfect for you. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) offers financial support to a college student who is working toward a career teaching secondary school mathematics.
Key criteria: To be considered, applicants must be members of NCTM and be full-time students in their sophomore year of college at a college or university.
Award information: Up to $10,000
How to apply: Submit a written proposal that explains the remaining coursework required for certification and your plan for completion. Provide transcripts and three letters of recommendation. In addition, submit a budget outlining how you would allocate money from the award.
Overview: More than 30 teaching scholarships are awarded each year by PDK International to high school seniors and undergraduates who intend to major in a field of education.
Key criteria: Applicants must be a member of at least one of the following associations: PDK International, Educators Rising and Pi Lambda Theta. A few of the scholarships have specific eligibility requirements, such as studying journalism or English, overcoming adversity or demonstrating financial need.
Award information: $500 to $2,000
How to apply: Complete an online application, and submit your transcripts, personal statement, list of activities related to teaching or service, list of extracurricular activities, and a letter of recommendation.
Overview: The American Montessori Society (AMS) provides a number of scholarships to aspiring Montessori teachers.
Key criteria: To be eligible, individuals must have been accepted, are in the process of being accepted or are currently enrolled in a teacher education program affiliated with AMS.
Award information: In 2017, $57,000 was awarded to 23 aspiring Montessori teachers.
How to apply: The application includes information related to financial need, a personal statement, 3 letters of recommendation, and confirmation of acceptance to a program affiliated with AMS.
Overview: This scholarship helps students of Hispanic heritage earn a college degree; it is available to high school seniors, community college students transferring to four-year institutions, undergrads, and graduate students.
Key criteria: Applicants must be of Hispanic heritage, have plans to be a full-time student in the fall semester and meet a minimum GPA requirement. In addition, students must be a U.S. citizen, permanent legal resident, DACA, or eligible non-citizen.
Award information: $500 to $5,000
How to apply: Make a profile on the HSF website.
Overview: POISE Foundation provides scholarship administration for the National NAACP Scholarship Program, including more than 20 scholarships in memory of the late Agnes Jones Jackson, a long-time member of the NAACP in San Francisco.
Key criteria: Students must be a U.S. citizen, a member of the NAACP, under the age of 25, currently enrolled or accepted into an accredited college or university in the U.S., and demonstrate financial need based on the federal poverty guidelines.
Award information: Up to $2,000
How to apply: Start your scholarship application online and select the Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship.
Overview: To support prospective educators, author and publisher Nancy Larson awards scholarships to college students striving to become elementary school teachers.
Key criteria: This teaching scholarship is open to juniors, seniors and graduate students who have chosen to major in elementary education.
Award information: $1,000
How to apply: Submit a personal narrative about why you want to teach and what will make you an excellent teacher. Explain your community service activities and experience working with children.
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Overview: In partnership with Wells Fargo, TMCF offers financial assistance to high-achieving undergraduate students enrolled at one of the 47 public Historically Black Colleges and Universities within the TMCF network. The scholarship is open to all majors.
Key criteria: Students must be full-time sophomores, juniors or seniors with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. In addition, they must have demonstrated financial need and leadership ability and be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident.
Award information: One-year merit scholarship of up to $5,000
How to apply: Complete your application and submit a Student Aid Report, college transcript, recommendation, and essay.
Overview: This program helps students who are working to become math and science teachers. Students enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs may qualify to receive an award in exchange for five years of full-time employment as math or science teachers for grades 7-12 in NYS.
Key criteria: The program is open to applicants who are U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens attending a college in NYS and have a GPA of 2.5 or higher. Applicants must also sign a service contract and be in compliance with any service condition associated with the NYS award.
Award information: Annual payment equal to yearly tuition for an NYS resident student enrolled in an undergraduate program at the State University of New York, or actual tuition
How to apply: Complete a program application online.
Overview: The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education created this scholarship program to help increase the numbers of teachers in critical shortage areas in public schools of Oklahoma.
Key criteria: The student must be a resident of Oklahoma, be nominated by their college and meet certain academic standards. In addition, the student must agree to teach in a shortage area of Oklahoma for three consecutive years. Priority is given to full-time students.
Award information: Maximum annual awards for full-time students are $1,500.
How to apply: Submit an application to your college or university each academic year. First-time freshman must include a copy of their high school transcript and SAT/ACT score. Students who have attended college must submit official transcripts. Every student must also submit an essay.
Overview: Through the Daughters of the American Revolution, two one-time scholarships are available for students 25 years of age or older. The awards are merit-based. One is given to students who are studying to teach elementary school, and the other award is for students who plan to teach at the secondary level.
Key criteria: To be eligible, students must be at least a college sophomore and attend or plan on attending an accredited college or university.
Award information: $1,500
How to apply: Complete a scholarship application form and send it in an email to BorgensElementaryScholarship@NSDAR.org.
Overview: Interested in teaching English as a second language? This award is designed to encourage current graduate students who are enrolled in a TESOL/TEFL graduate program or a program focused on second language acquisition or foreign language education.
Key criteria: Students who are TESOL members and plan to conduct a graduate study project on a topic relevant to TESOL/TEFL are eligible to apply.
Award information: $1,500, plus a convention registration
How to apply: Complete an online application. Students are required to write two essays and a description of a graduate study project. They must also arrange for a letter of recommendation.
Overview: Black and Hispanic individuals who intend to teach at an accredited school in Indiana upon graduation may qualify for this scholarship. Upon graduation, they must teach in Indiana for a minimum of three years.
Key criteria: The applicant must be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen and live in Indiana. They must also be admitted or currently attending an eligible Indiana college or university as a full-time student and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0.
Award information: Students with financial need may receive up to $4,000 each year. Students who do not demonstrate financial need may receive up to $1,000.
How to apply: Visit ScholarTrack.In.gov to apply by September 4th (detailed instructions are included on a downloadable PDF). You must also submit a FAFSA.
Overview: Facilitated by the Raise Your Hand Texas Foundation, this scholarship program provides yearly funding and ongoing training and mentorship. About 100 scholarships will be offered the first year.
Key criteria: Students must be enrolled full-time in EC-6 ESL/Generalist Certification, Bilingual Certification, Special Education Certification, UTeach Urban Teachers Social Studies, or UTeach Urban Teachers English. They must also have shown leadership skills and strong academic achievement and be committed to serving high-needs Texas public schools upon graduation.
Award information: $8,000 in annual funding for up to four years
How to apply: Incoming freshman are automatically considered for the scholarship based on information from the ApplyTexas application. Current students should apply online.
Overview: The National Merit Scholarship Program offers scholarships through an academic competition based on the scores students achieve through the Preliminary SAT/National Scholarship Qualifying Test.
Key criteria: To participate in the competition, students must be a U.S. citizen or U.S. lawful permanent resident with the intent to become a U.S. citizen, take the PSAT/NMSQT and attend high school with plans to graduate and enroll in college.
Award information: $2,500
How to apply: Students selected according to their scores on the PSAT/NMST test.
Overview: This scholarship is designed for full-time college students enrolled at Clark Atlanta University, Spelman College, Morehouse College, and Texas College. It’s a need-based renewable scholarship.
Key criteria: Applicants must be college sophomores with a minimum GPA of 2.5. They must also be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, complete a FAFSA and demonstrate unmet financial need.
Award information: Amount varies.
How to apply: Complete an online application and submit a reference form by June 22.
Overview: The National Federation of the Blind (NFB) offers thirty annual merit-based scholarships to blind students in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Students are selected based on academic achievement, leadership and community service.
Key criteria: Applicants must be legally blind in both eyes, attend or plan to attend a postsecondary degree program in the U.S. and participate in the NFB national convention.
Award information: $3,000 to $12,000, plus assistance to attend the 2018 NFB Convention.
How to apply: Submit an application form by March 31, either online or by mail. Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or the following address: NFB Scholarship Program, National Federation of the Blind, 200 East Wells Street at Jernigan Place, Baltimore, Maryland, 21230.
Overview: Female students from the Bronx, New York, who have a demonstrated unmet financial need may apply for this scholarship, which targets college students who have embraced community service.
Key criteria: Applicants must have a GPA of 2.75 or higher.
Award information: Up to $5,000
How to apply: Complete an application profile and submit an essay, unofficial transcript and one letter of recommendation from college faculty or school administrator.
Financial Aid Tips and Other Key Resources to Check Out
For more information on financing your teaching degree, read our financial aid article, with information on grants, loans, work-study, and Teacher Loan Forgiveness Programs. In addition, don’t hesitate to learn more about specific teaching programs that might be right for you — many programs offer scholarships and other financial aid packages to those who qualify. Don’t be afraid to ask!