More than 60 percent of teachers who received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education prior to July 2014 were forced to repay the money as an unsubsidized loan, a government report says—even though many of them were meeting the program’s requirements.
Candidates who plan to teach in a high-needs field and school for at least four years are eligible for the up-to-$4,000 TEACH, or Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education, grant. If they don’t meet those requirements—and annually certify they do—the grant converts to an unsubsidized loan.
The government report, first obtained by National Public Radio, found that 19 percent of recipients whose grant had been converted into a loan didn’t know about the annual certification process, 13 percent weren’t able to certify because they encountered challenges in the process, 15 percent said they were very likely or likely to fulfill the requirements, and 17 percent said they already had met them. (The Government Accountability Office report notes that it’s possible respondents didn’t understand the survey questions or their grant status.)
A version of this article appeared in the April 11, 2018 edition of Education Week as GAO: Thousands of Compliant Teachers Forced to Repay Federal TEACH Grants