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Teach Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay


TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay

Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement) that will be available electronically on a Department of Education Web site. The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.

Teaching Obligation

To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant as a loan with interest you must be a highly-qualified , full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years within eight years of finishing the program at a school serving low-income students. Specific definitions of these terms are included below.

Highly-Qualified Teacher

You must perform the teaching service as a "highly-qualified teacher". The term highly-qualified teacher is defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or in section 602(10) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act - online at:

Full-Time Teacher

You must meet the state's definition of a full-time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching a one of the high-need subject areas. In order for teaching to count towards meeting the service obligation, the recipient must teach in a designated "high need" field AND at a designated school. These designations can change over time. Elementary school teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.

High-Need Subject Areas

  • Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Specialist
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Other teacher shortage areas identified at the time you begin teaching. These are subject areas (not geographic areas) that are listed in the Department of Education's Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing at

Schools Serving Low-Income Students

Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits at

Challenges in teaching in schools serving low income students

Students who do not know anyone who has or who is currently teaching in a school serving low income students should be aware of the challenges facing teachers working in these schools. These are a few random references to help you learn more about what you will be facing if you accept this commitment listed below.


For each TEACH-eligible program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, you must also provide documentation to the Department of Education that you completed your teaching obligation. TEACH Grant recipients must also confirm to the Education Department in writing within 120 days of completing or otherwise ceasing enrollment in the TEACH-eligible program that they are fulfilling (or planning to fulfill) the terms and conditions of the service agreement.
Documentation of the teaching service must be certified by the elementary or secondary school's chief administrative officer, upon completion of four academic years of teaching service. This documentation must show that you were a full-time, highly-qualified teacher at a school serving low-income students, teaching a high-need subject area for at least four years.