Everyone is aware that the cost of getting a degree is increasing every year. In addition to the rising costs of attendance, subsidized student loans and grants are becoming scarcer. Many of the 50 states and the federal government have already cut back on some forms of aid. In 2012, the special interest rate due on non-subsidized student loans will be removed.
Although teachers are very important the starting salaries for teachers right out of university is not enough to support an individual and pay back non-subsidized student loans. All of the above circumstances make it clear that teachers must have sources of scholarships or the number of students who will choose to become teachers will continue to decline.
Fortunately, there are a significant number of scholarships available for students wanting to be teachers. A combination of these can help to cover a good portion of the costs of attendance to get a degree in teaching. This article will explain some of the different types of scholarships available for teachers.
College Specific School Sponsored Scholarships
The first place to check for teaching scholarships is the university the student intends to attend. Many universities that award teaching degrees have grants and scholarships based on previous academic performance and need.
Some of these scholarships are general in nature, meaning no guarantee of how long the new teacher will teach or where they will teach is required.
Industry Sponsored Scholarships
For every term, there are usually a fair number of “no strings attached” general scholarships funded by large industrial donors, such as Coca Cola or other business companies. Private trust memorial scholarships are often found in this category as well. The scholarships range from $500 to $1500 per term.
Regional Scholarships for Teachers
A larger number of scholarships, usually double the number of general type, are available for students who will commit to teaching in specific regions or even specific states and cities. The aid available from this type of scholarship is normally significantly greater. The value runs from $1,000 to $5,000 per term for qualified students in teaching degree programs.
Minority Students Teaching Scholarships
Students who are members of an ethnic minority have the opportunity to get scholarships in this category. The value of aid from these groups is even higher, with some offering over $25,000 for a five-year period. Many have stipulations of future employment in specific regions or commitment to teach in public schools for a minimum length of time.
Science and Math Teaching Scholarships
Future teachers in science and math have access to even bigger scholarships, with some reaching $75,000 for a four or five year period. For teaching in some specific east coast cities, such as New York City, teaching scholarships for mathematics teachers approach $100,000.
Non-Math and Science Subject Specific Scholarships
There are subject specific scholarships in non-math and science fields available but the value of these scholarships is not at the level of math and science aid packages.
Graduate Level Scholarships for Teachers
Grants, Fellowships and Scholarships exist for students in their last year of university or graduate school. Because students are getting close to graduation, which indicates real commitment to a teaching profession there are a large number of these types of financial aid scholarships.
Current Teacher Scholarships
Teachers currently teaching have access to a large number of continuing education scholarships that are funded by a very wide range of donors. These are also available to fund educational studies done while teaching.
Study Abroad and Foreign Language Scholarships
To aid students who will become teachers in disciplines requiring foreign language or cultural immersion experiences abroad there are always study abroad and foreign language aid packages available for students in their last two years of university or graduate school.
All of these scholarship opportunities are meant to aid students studying to become teachers as a benefit for their planned commitment to teaching. The only caveat in the fact that so many scholarships are available is the amount of work and time necessary to locate, prepare for, submit, track and follow up for all of these aid programs. Especially when scholarships are grade, performance related it is difficult to find the time to do both proper study towards the degree and the paperwork for obtaining the scholarships at the same time.
In past years, the U.S. Congress has discussed forming a central clearinghouse specifically to manage scholarships for teachers. Three times in the last five years this has come to the floor of the House of Representatives for a vote without success. In the current economic climate, it is hard to see this happening in the near future. If government at the state and federal level wish to continue to have a pool of excellent teachers, they will need to work with industry to increase the scholarships for teachers.