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Education Scholarships and Loan Forgiveness Programs

There are many different scholarships and grants available to Education majors and minors through Bridgewater State University, as well as through the Federal Government and the State of Massachusetts.

Bridgewater awards $27.5 million in federal, state and university funds each year, including more than $600,000 in endowed scholarships for upperclassmen. For more information about available scholarships, contact the Financial Aid Office at finaid@bridgew.edu or 508.531.1341

The TEACH Grant

Please note: Post-Baccalaureate students are not eligible for the TEACH Grant at Bridgewater State University.

Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant is awarded to a student who is completing, or who intends to complete, coursework that is necessary to begin a career in teaching, and who agrees to serve for at least four years as a full-time, highly qualified teacher in a high-need subject area at a low-income school area (please refer to the Teach Grant website for more information). If the student does not complete the required four years of teaching within eight years after completing the course of study for which the TEACH Grant was received, or otherwise does not meet the eligibility requirements of the TEACH Grant Program, the full amount of the TEACH Grant that the student received will be converted to a Direct Unsubsidized Loan that the student must repay to the U.S. Department of Education with interest accrued from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.

The majors that qualify at BSU are typically Special Education, Math, English, most Sciences, and some Foreign Language majors.  

For more information, or to apply for the TEACH grant, visit the TEACH grant website.

Please Note: Federal regulations require that students who have received a Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant (TEACH Grant) complete an exit counseling session upon withdrawing or graduating from their program of study.

Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant Program

To be eligible for a Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant, a student must:

  • Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts. 
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen. 
  • Be eligible under Title IV Regulations and not in default of a state or federal education loan or grant. 
  • Enroll in an undergraduate degree program (full-time or part-time) leading to teacher certification in a Massachusetts Public College. 
  • Be employed, for a minimum of two years, as a paraprofessional in a Massachusetts public school. 
  • If employed less than two years as a paraprofessional, a student may qualify for the grant only if the undergraduate course of study will lead to teacher certification in high need disciplines: Math, Science, Special Education, Foreign Languages, or Bilingual Education. 
  • Have not earned a bachelor's degree.

If you think you may qualify, or for more information, visit the Mass Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program

To be eligible for the Early Childhood Educators Scholarship, an applicant must:

  • Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts. 
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen. 
  • Be eligible under Title IV Regulations and not in default of a state or federal education loan or grant. 
  • Enroll, as a matriculated student, in an undergraduate degree program (full or part-time) in Early Childhood Education, or a related field (i.e., elementary education, sociology, psychology).
  • Be employed as an early childhood educator or be a licensed family child care provider in Massachusetts for at least one year, and continue employment while enrolled in the required degree program. 
  • Have not previously earned a bachelor's degree. 
  • Sign an agreement to continue employment as an early childhood educator or provider in Massachusetts upon completing the degree requirement, or repay funds as defined. 

If you think you may qualify, or for more information, visit the Mass Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Math and Science Teachers Scholarship Program

To be eligible for the Math and Science Teachers Scholarship Program, a student must:

  • Be a permanent legal resident of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 
  • Be a United States citizen or an eligible non-citizen. 
  • Be employed, full or part-time, as an educator in a Massachusetts public school or school that provide publicly-funded special education and; 
  • Be currently teaching Mathematics or Science (including Technology/Engineering) under a waiver from certificate regulations (educator license); or 
  • Currently teaching outside the certificate area (out-of-field teacher). 
  • Be enrolled in a higher education course in a degree granting program for math and science teachers. 
  • Be pursuing a degree or program of study in order to satisfy requirements for teacher certification by the Massachusetts Department of Education for mathematics or science. 
  • Sign an agreement to continue teaching Mathematics or Science in a public school in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for a term of service, as specified, or repay all scholarship funds. 
  • Be eligible under Title IV Regulations and not in default of a state or federal education loan or grant. 
  • Complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid www.fafsa.gov

If you think you may qualify, or for more information, visit the Mass Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Collaborative Teachers Tuition Waiver

To be eligible for a Collaborative Teachers Tuition Waiver, a student must:

  • Agree to mentor a student teacher from a State college or university in their classroom. 
  • Be a public school teacher in the year he/she is using the award. 
  • Be a permanent legal resident of Massachusetts. 
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible non-citizen. 
  • Not be in default of a Federal or State loan or owe a refund on any previously received financial aid.
  • Complete and file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid www.fafsa.gov

If you think you may qualify, or for more information, visit the Mass Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Incentive Program for Aspiring Teachers Tuition Waiver

To be eligible for a Incentive Program for Aspiring Teachers, a student must:

  • Be in his/her third and/or fourth year of college and enrolled in state approved teacher education program field with teacher shortages. 
  • Have a cumulative 3.0 grade point average in general education courses. 
  • Commit to teaching for two (2) years (one year for each year of full or partial tuition waiver received) in a public school in the Commonwealth upon successful completion of a bachelor's degree from the college or university and the appropriate certification pursuant to section 38G of Chapter 71 M.G.L. 
  • Be deemed eligible by the institution. 
  • Complete an agreement regarding service and/or repayment (including interest). 
  • Achieve a 3.0 grade point average in the third year in order to receive the tuition waiver for the second year (senior year). 
  • Be a permanent resident of Massachusetts for at least one year prior to the opening of the academic year. 
  • Be a United States citizen or eligible noncitizen. 
  • Be in compliance with applicable Selective Registration requirements. 
  • Not be in default of any federal or state loan or owe a refund on any previously received financial aid. 
  • Be maintaining satisfactory academic progress in accordance with institutional standards.

If you think you may qualify, or for more information, visit the Mass Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Loan Forgiveness

Education Majors may qualify for forgiveness or cancellation of their Federal loans. If you are unsure of which type(s) of federal loans you have borrowed, visit www.nslds.ed.gov for a list of all of your federal loans. You will need your FAFSA/Department of Education PIN (www.pin.ed.gov) to access this site.

Direct/FFEL Stafford Loan cancellation for teachers

To qualify for up to $5,000 loan forgiveness under this program, you must not have had an outstanding balance on a Direct/FFEL program loan as of October 1, 1998. To qualify for the increased amount of loan forgiveness up to $17,500 available for certain mathematics, science, and special education teachers, you must not have had an outstanding balance on a Direct/FFEL program loan as of October 1, 1998, or on the date that you obtained a FFEL or Direct Loan program loan after October 1, 1998. 

Although a summary of the new requirements is provided below, for complete information about this program, contact the holder of your loan.

To qualify, you must have been employed as a full-time teacher for five consecutive complete academic years in an elementary or secondary school that has been designated as a "low-income" school by the U.S. Department of Education.

Additionally:

  • At least one of the five qualifying years of teaching must have occurred after the 1997-98 academic year. 
  • The loan must have been made before the end of the fifth year of qualifying teaching. 
  • The elementary or secondary school must be public or private nonprofit. 
  • A defaulted loan cannot be cancelled for teacher service unless you've made satisfactory repayment arrangements with the holder of the loan. 

If you think you may qualify, or for more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid.

Perkins Loan cancellation for teachers

You qualify for cancellation (discharge) of up to 100 percent of a Federal Perkins Loan if you have served full time in a public or nonprofit elementary or secondary school system as a

  • teacher in a school serving students from low-income families; or
  • special-education teacher, including teachers of infants, toddlers, children, or youth with disabilities; or
  • teacher in the fields of mathematics, science, foreign languages, or bilingual education, or in any other field of expertise determined by a state education agency to have a shortage of qualified teachers in that state.

Eligibility for teacher cancellation is based on the duties presented in an official position description, not on the position title. To receive a cancellation, you must be directly employed by the school system. There is no provision for canceling Perkins Loans for teaching in postsecondary schools.

Note that you also qualify for deferment while you're performing teaching service that qualifies for cancellation. Contact the school that holds your loan for information on applying for deferment.

Applying for Teacher Cancellation

You must request the appropriate forms from the office that administers the Federal Perkins Loan program at the school that holds your loan. You must also provide any documentation the school requests to show that you qualify for cancellation. It is the school's responsibility to determine whether you qualify, and the school's decision cannot be appealed to the U.S. Department of Education. Schools may not cancel any portion of a loan for teaching services you performed either before the date the loan was disbursed or during the enrollment period covered by the loan.

If you think you may qualify, or for more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid

Public Service Loan Forgiveness program

Through the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007, Congress created the Loan Forgiveness for Public Service Employees Program. The new program provides for the cancellation of the remaining balance due on eligible federal student loans after the borrower has made 120 monthly payments on those loans under certain repayment plans while employed in certain public service fields.

Effective Dates: Borrowers must have made 120 monthly payments after October 1, 2007 in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program. Therefore, the first cancellations of loan balances will not be granted until October 2017 at the earliest.

To be eligible to have remaining balances cancelled, the borrower must:

  • Have been employed in a public service job during the period in which the borrower made each of the 120 monthly payments and;
  • Be employed in a public service job at the time of loan forgiveness.

If you think you may qualify, or for more information, visit the U.S. Department of Education's office of Federal Student Aid.