As graduate students, participants with pre-existing student loans may put their loans into deferment for the two years that they are enrolled in the master’s program. AmeriCorps members may qualify for forbearance of their loans during service.
For more information, review the federal guidance on deferment and forbearance. It is advised that you continue making payments on your student loans until you receive notification that your request for deferment or forbearance has been granted.
- Eligibility Criteria: Urban Teachers participants who enroll in an AmeriCorps term of service in their second and/or third years of the program
- Benefits: Approximately $12,000 over two years. Can be used to repay qualified student loans. Can also be used to pay future educational expenses.
- Other Information: Urban Teachers is a Professional Corps program, a publicly funded initiative, AmeriCorps. Participants are invited to enroll as AmeriCorps Members in their second and third years of Urban Teachers (first and second years as teachers of record). Upon successful completion of a full-time term of service, Members may be endorsed to receive the Segal Education Award. AmeriCorps members may also put their student loans into forbearance and access separate funds to pay loan interest accrued during their term(s) of service.
AmeriCorps financial benefits are dependent on congressional appropriations and Urban Teachers’ partnership with AmeriCorps. As such, the benefits are not guaranteed year to year.
- Eligibility Criteria: Must maintain a 3.25 GPA throughout coursework and then teach for a total of four years in a low-income school and in a high-needs subject area.
- Benefits: Up to $4,000 grant towards tuition payment annually. Maximum of $8,000, or two awards.
- When to start: Coordinate with the university financial aid office for more information on enrollment.
- Note: You must complete the four years of your service obligation within 8 years of completing coursework. If you do not meet the requirements of your service obligation, TEACH Grants will be converted to loans.
- Eligibility Criteria: Teach for five consecutive years in low-income school(s) as a highly qualified teacher.
- Benefits: Loan reduction up to $17,500 for secondary math and science teachers or special education teachers. Loan reduction up to $5,000 for highly qualified teachers in other areas.
- When to start: Obtain certification from administration at each qualifying school that you taught at over the five years. Submit an application to your loan servicer after you have completed the required five consecutive years.
- Note: The years of teaching as an AmeriCorps member cannot be applied towards the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. Additionally, Public Service Loan Forgiveness years cannot overlap with years applied to the Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.
- Eligibility Criteria: Work full-time in a government agency or qualified non-profit, have Direct loans or consolidate other federal student loans, repay loans on an income-driven repayment plan, and make 120 qualifying payments.
- Benefits: Loan forgiveness on any outstanding loans after the repayment period.
- When to start: As you pay back student loans, use the PSLF Help Tool to assist you. It is suggested that you complete the Employment Certification Form annually and whenever you change employers. Retain documents supporting your qualifying employment as possible (i.e. W-2 forms and pay stubs).
- Note: Payments made during years of service for the Teacher Loan Forgiveness program cannot be counted within the 120 required payments. Additionally, payments made while loans are in deferment or forbearance are not counted for the 120 payments.
- Eligibility Criteria: Teach in a low-income school; OR teach special education, mathematics, science, foreign language, bilingual education, or another high needs area.
- Benefits: Up to 100% loan cancellation on Perkins Loan after 5 years of teaching.
- When to start: Contact the school that made your Perkins Loan or to the school’s Perkins Loan servicer for application instructions and timeline.
- Note: Students can no longer receive a new Perkins Loan. This benefit applies to loans that participants may have received prior to Sept. 30, 2017.
Gates Millennium Scholarship -- Recipients of Gates Millennium Scholarships may be eligible for grants to cover the tuition costs of the Urban Teachers program. Graduate studies in education are a priority of the organization.
Scholarship America – There are limited scholarships for graduate school. This organization manages some that you may want to consider.
UNCF Scholarships--There are limited scholarships for graduate school. UNCF manages several scholarships that you may want to consider.
HSF Scholarship— The Hispanic Scholarship Fund offers awards designed to assist students of Hispanic heritage in obtaining a university degree.
Teach.org Scholarships– Check out some of the opportunities to get scholarships to support your career in teaching.
Please Note: This information relied on existing federal government student loan information and other scholarship and grant information at the time of its publication; regulations governing these programs may change in the future. Additionally, this guide should not be considered a comprehensive authority. We recommend that participants conduct additional research, including but not limited to contacting their loan servicer(s) for additional information and clarification.