Ask Archie

Following a careful review of the structure of the Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program, the University of Georgia (UGA) decided not to participate in this program.

The implementing regulations governing the TEACH Grant were published on June 23, 2008. Following publication, we conducted a review and analysis in conjunction with other involved University departments (including the College of Education) to determine if participation in the program would benefit otherwise eligible UGA students.

We wish our students to know our concerns fully rested on the fact this federal grant program differs significantly from all other federal student grant programs. When a TEACH grant recipient fails to fulfill very narrowly defined and strict annual criteria, all of the “grant” funds received revert to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with interest capitalizing retroactively from the date each grant disbursement was made. The U. S. Department of Education’s budget proposal for FY 2009 anticipated that more than 80 percent of all TEACH Grants would ultimately convert to Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loans!

It is for this reason we took the necessary time to carefully and completely review the program regulations and continued to meet with the other involved University departments to analyze the potential impact (both positive and negative) on our future and current teachers who may qualify for the TEACH Grant.

We encourage our undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing degrees in education to review the much more favorable teacher cancellation provisions of the Federal Direct Loan Program.

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