Are you studying to become a teacher? There are a number of scholarship programs designed to help defray the cost of education for future K-12 teachers. Here are a few options that you may want to consider. Go ahead and apply for any that you're eligible to receive. After all, there's no way you can be considered if you don't try.
General Teacher Training Scholarship Programs
There are a number of scholarship programs for teachers regardless of what field they plan to teach in. Some are limited to undergraduate students, while others are also open to graduate students. There are also some programs for teachers training to teach specific grade levels, while others are open to future educators regardless of student age group preference.
American Montessori Society
Individuals planning to pursue a career in Montessori education and who are attending a Montessori -affiliated teacher training program, have an opportunity to apply for a scholarship from the American Montessori Society (AMS).
The society awards a total of 14 scholarships of varying amounts each year from the organization's AMS Teacher Education Scholarship Fund. Two additional $1,000 grants for future teachers are awarded from the Zell Family Scholarship Fund.
The application deadline is typically May 1. To learn more or to obtain an application form, see amshq.org.
If you're studying to become an early childhood education teacher, consider applying for a scholarship through the Bright Futures scholarship program. Offered by Bright Horizons Family Solutions, this scholarship program features separate awards for future teachers enrolled in Associate, Bachelor's degree and Master's degree programs with awards varying from $1500 to $2500, based on level of study.
Applications are accepted beginning June 1 of each year and winners are notified during August. Visit BrightHorizons.com to learn more and to find out when and how to apply for the current year's program.
Phi Delta Kappa Prospective Educators
High school seniors and undergraduate students who are members of Future Educators of America or Phi Delta Kappa can apply for the Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) Prospective Educators scholarship program. Additionally, high school seniors who are not members of either organization but who have a parent or grandparent who is a member of PDK or who can obtain a letter of recommendation from a member may also apply.
Applications can be submitted online and are due by April 1 to be considered for an award for the next academic year. See PDKIntl.org to learn more or to start the application process.
TEACH Grant Program
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is a federal education assistance program that provides financial support to college students majoring in education who agree to teach full-time in a school that serves low-income families for a minimum of four years after graduation. Teaching may be performed in a public or private elementary or secondary school. Grants may be for up to $4,000 per year.
If a recipient fails to meet his or her teaching obligation, funds received have to be repaid as Federal Unsubsidized Stafford Student loans, with interest accruing from the time funds were received.
You can learn more about the program at StudentAid.ed.gov and apply through your school's financial aid department if you are interested.
Four Scholarship Programs for Math and Science Teachers
Math and science are typically high-demand areas for teachers. Because it can be difficult to find qualified teachers who are knowledgeable in these fields, there are a number of scholarship programs focuses specifically on providing financial assistance to people who want to work as math and science teachers.
American Association of Physics Teachers
The American Association of Physics Teachers awards scholarship to graduating high school seniors and college students planning to enroll in a program designed to prepare them to teach physics at the high school level. Stipends of up to $2,000 per year for up to four years are available.
Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis. Visit AAPT.org to learn more and to download an application form.
Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association
The Educational Foundation of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) provides 50 scholarships of $5,000 each to college students dedicated to pursuing careers as middle or high school teachers in the areas of engineering, math, science or technology.
The scholarship program is open to college juniors and seniors who are enrolled in a secondary education degree program and to graduate students who hold an undergraduate degree in one of the targeted fields and who are pursuing secondary teacher certification.
Application forms are published to the website each January. See AFCEA.org to register to be notified when the application becomes available and to find out more about the program.
Knowles Science Teaching Foundation
The Knowles Science Teaching Foundation offers a fellowship program for individuals who hold Bachelor's degrees in a math, science or engineering discipline and who want to continue their education for the purpose of becoming certified to teach high school science or math in the United States.
Fellowships are awarded for a period of up to five years while the recipient is actively enrolled in program of study designed to lead to teaching credentials. Fellowships are valued at approximately $150,000 and include financial assistance for tuition, monthly stipend support, money for professional development, and funds for materials.
Applications are accepted each year from mid-September through Early January. See KSTF.org for additional information and to access an application.
National Councils of Teachers of Mathematics
Each year, the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) awards one $10,000 scholarship to a college sophomore who is enrolled in a full-time course of study leading to certification as a certified math teacher in a secondary school setting. In order to apply, it is necessary to hold a student membership in NCTM.
Applications are typically accepted during the month of May. To find out how to apply, visit NCTM.org.
Additional Teacher Scholarship Resources
This is, of course, not an inclusive list of scholarship programs for prospective teachers. Be sure to ask your college admissions representative and financial aid officer to provide you with information about any programs they know of. Additionally, there are a number of student loan forgiveness and deferment programs teachers may be eligible for; see Cancellation/Deferment Options for Teachers to learn more.
You can also benefit by conducting additional research on your own. The American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has an online funding database that allows users to search for scholarships, loan forgiveness programs, grants and other financial assistance programs for future teachers. Visit AFT.org to look for teacher funding opportunities that you may be eligible to receive.