Financial Aid Guide

Masters in Teaching Financial Aid

The federal programs for student loans are primarily targeted at undergraduates. The resources for graduate students are there as well, but often not quite as attractive in terms of interest rates and structured somewhat differently. There is also the consideration of the federally imposed limits on student borrowing through the various government subsidized programs. Once a student hits the ceiling for government loans he or she may have to turn to private student loans which may be more expensive.

Direct Loans

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) has gotten into the student loan business by making direct loans now in addition to guaranteeing student loans from private institutions. As of July 1, 2010 the Stafford Loans that have been the backbone of student loans may be made directly by the DOE. The graduate direct loans carry an interest rate of 6.8%., higher than the undergraduate rate but still a good borrowing rate.

There are subsidized and unsubsidized direct loans. The subsidized loans are made available to those with more acute need and do not accumulate interest while you are in school. Unsubsidized Direct Loan may accrue interest while you are in school. The Department of Education recommends trying to make interest payments while you are in school because accrual may substantially increase your total bill.

Direct Plus loans for graduate students and professionals are another resource, with another interest rate - in this instance 7.9%. This loan is also subject to the borrowing cap for Stafford loans and other federal education assistance programs. The amount you may borrow is dictated by the cost of attendance minus any other financial assistance you are receiving.

Campus Based Aid

The Perkins Loan program is for students who are faced with substantial financial need. The loans are disbursed by the participating schools, so loan applications go directly to the campus student financial office. The interest rate is 5% on these loans; the maximum you may borrow per year as a graduate student is $8,000. The maximum for the course of your graduate studies is $60,000.

Pell Grants are direct subsidies made available mostly to undergraduate students but in some cases to graduate students as well. Like the Perkins program this grant is made available to students who face a difficult struggle paying for higher education. Generally the maximum grant per year is $5,500, although in some circumstances a student may apply twice in one year. The university may make the determination of acceptability in those situations.

Teaching Student Grants

As the result of legislation passed in 2007 the federal government may now make TEACH grants available to students who are enrolled in teaching programs and who may agree to teach in schools or districts in extreme need of teaching talent. The grants amount to $4,000 per year and require a commitment of four years teaching in a designated school. Teaching skills may be in a high-need field (math and science) and usually is in a low income school.

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