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Financing Your Education: Teaching and Education Edition




Financing Your Education: Teaching and Education Edition

 

Many students have a lot to consider when deciding their major. After all, it is a decision that could impact the rest of their professional lives. However, once they have made their choice, another question begins to form in their minds. How will they finance their education? For those of you who have picked teaching and education as your majors, here's a handy guide on financing:

Visit the Financial Aid Office

Don't ignore the most obvious choice for information. Each college and university has a financial aid office. The experts are right there within your college. Get in touch, and they could provide you with the information you need. As you will learn below, you may choose between several options to make that happen. For instance, you could apply to the federal government for financial aid with your studies. Or, you may choose to opt for state aid. Regardless of your choice, guidance is available to you in the form of financial aid officers.

You may have a huge advantage when you work with a financial aid office. When you familiarize them with your financial health, they might be able to design an individualized plan for you. Not every scholarship or grant will be suitable for you. Your aid officer can help you find one that is well-suited to you.

Learn about Tax Benefits that Apply to you

Another great option for students looking to finance their teaching and education degree are the Qualified Tuition programs. In total, there are more than 500 such plans, including Coverdell Education Savings Accounts. If you are a graduate student, you could be eligible for any – or many – of them. Then there are education-related tax credits and various deductions, such as those on student loans, qualified educational expenses, and businesses.  With the former, you stand to get up to $2,000 every year. Check out the IRS Tax Benefits for Education publication for more information.

Apply for Government Aid

The government is the biggest financial aid source for you if you are interested in higher education. Just keep in mind you will have to prove you need financial aid since it is need-based. For merit-based financial assistance, refer to our section on scholarships and grants.

Start by getting the United States Department of Education's guide to check which options are available to you. Then use the FAFSA to apply, based on how eligible you are, how much you should get, what you'll be expected to contribute, etc.

Graduate students may also look at loans, such as the Graduate PLUS  while other aspiring teachers and educationists may want to consider The Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program. 

Scholarships and Grants

The federal government offers an excellent financing opportunity to students. So, does the state government. But the problem with former option is that it is open to almost any U.S. citizen. You'd be competing against all of them. The second option is not too dependable, either. State governments have a limited amount of funds, which they may run out of!

When applying for a scholarship or a grant, we advise that students look for ones they are most likely to get. In this case, it would mean the options geared to providing financial help to those with teaching and education majors. We mention just a few of those below:

TEACH Grant

While this is a federal grant, it is awarded only to education majors. You will have to commit the next four years of your career to teaching in a low-income area. But consider the fact that you will be teaching a subject that is in high demand and getting $4,000 annually. For qualifying, complete your FAFSA and make sure that you are attending a school eligible for the TEACH Grant. You will also have to satisfy certain academic requirements.

James Madison

The fellowship program caters to both college seniors and graduates. A junior fellowship is granted to students who pursue a master's degree and want to teach American history, government, or civics to secondary school. Your eligibility depends on your U.S. citizenship, whether you plan to teach, which topics you will be choosing, and the grades you decide to teach. You could get an award of $24,000 if you satisfy all the requirements of the fellowship. Moreover, you should have completed your bachelor's degree by August of the year of your application. Everything from registration to submission of recommendations can be done online.

NAEF

NAEF or The National Art Education Foundation is known both for its philanthropic objectives and promotion of good teaching practices. It focuses on art education for which it also offers various grants and scholarships. Some of them are SHIP, Ruth Halvorsen Professional Development, NAEF Research, and Mary McMullan grants. The deadlines and amount vary with the grants, so make sure you visit the website for those details.

There are other options for you. Since many opportunities have a deadline, we'd suggest applying sooner rather than later. Contact us to discuss right away!