Getting financial aid from the best education scholarships can keep your teaching dreams alive. Becoming a teacher is a long, costly journey. Most PreK-12 teachers pay for at least a four-year bachelor’s degree and state certification exams. Undertaking graduate courses for advanced education jobs, such as principal or reading specialist, is even more expensive. The Economic Policy Institute expects the U.S. teacher shortage will reach 200,000 by 2025 though. Thus, many foundations are donating funds to upcoming teachers who pick the selfless, underappreciated profession. If you’re struggling to afford tuition bills, check out the following 30 great education scholarships.
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1. Trythall Family Scholarship
- Be non-traditional associate or bachelor’s students over age 24
- Have completed 12+ credits of education majors with GPAs above 2.8
- Regularly work at least part-time (20 hours per week) during school
Since 1989, the Albuquerque Community Foundation has awarded the $3,000 Trythall Family Scholarship for returning adults to finish their first undergraduate degree. Only residents of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia, Torrance, and Santa Fe counties can apply. Applications are due on June 4th with an employer recommendation, personal statement, resume, and transcript.
2. Bethesda Auxiliary Scholarships
- Be Lutheran juniors and seniors at accredited U.S. colleges
- Pursue education bachelor’s degrees to serve disabled youth
- Demonstrate faith and academic merit with a 3.0 or better GPA
The Bethesda Auxiliary presents five $3,000 scholarships to assist future special educators who are committed to teaching students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Active Lutheran congregants must document 100+ hours of related community service by May 15th. Four recommendations, official transcripts, and a 300-word career goals essay are also needed.
3. Bright Futures Scholarship Program
- Enroll at least part-time in accredited U.S. education schools
- Have 9+ months of experience working with infants and toddlers
- Pass one or more early childhood classes with GPAs over 2.5
Launched in 1986, the Bright Futures Scholarship Program is funded by Bright Horizons to support early childhood education majors who teach children ages 0-6. Thirty education scholarships of $250 to $500 are awarded after the May 15th deadline. Submit an online application, 500-word autobiographical essay, resume, and recommendation form to qualify.
4. Christa McAuliffe Teacher Incentive Scholarship
- Be legal U.S. residents attending a Delaware college full-time
- Select an undergraduate education major in 14 shortage areas
- Achieve a minimum 1010 SAT score and unweighted 3.0 GPA
From April 1st to July 15th, the Delaware Department of Education runs the Christa McAuliffe Teacher Incentive Program in memory of the Space Shuttle Challenger educator. The $5,000 scholarships go to in-state bachelor’s students entering in-demand teaching fields, such as math, science, and business. Loan forgiveness is available for teachers staying in Delaware.
5. James H. Loper Jr. Memorial Scholarship
- Be a sophomore, junior, or senior at eligible U.S. institutions
- Pursue a dairy-related major, such as agricultural education
- Have volunteer or paid work experience on dairy farms
The National Dairy Promotion & Research Board (NDPRB) surprisingly offers one of the best teacher scholarships worth $3,500. Named for James H. Loper Jr., this one-time award encourages aspiring Ag teachers to receive Grades 7-12 state certification. Before May 22nd, undergrads must submit a transcript, recommendation, and personal essay under 500 words.
6. Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships
- Be a U.S. citizen with sophomore or junior collegiate status
- Declare a qualifying STEM major, such as science education
- Exhibit academic excellence with a 3.0 or higher overall GPA
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) selects 120+ undergrads for the $9,500 Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships each year. Finalists also receive a 10-week, full-time scientific internship that pays $700 per week. Future science teachers must upload an essay, a college transcript, and two references before the January 31st deadline.
7. FREA Scholarships
- Be graduating Florida high school seniors entering college this August
- Select a bachelor’s major, such as education, to serve children
- Excel intellectually with a minimum 1000 SAT or 22 ACT score
The Florida Retired Educators Association (FREA) has bestowed $1 million to 400 “Sunshine State” students since 1980 to empower the next teaching generation. First-year freshmen receive $1,000 per year, or $4,000 total, to afford educator preparation programs. Applications with references, one-page essays, report cards, and financial aid forms are due January 20th.
8. Edith Schwab Memorial Scholarship
- Be a full- or part-time graduate student at a Kentucky university
- Choose a master’s or doctoral degree for public service, such as teaching
- Have academic merit with a 3.0 or better GPA and financial need
Conceived by Irene and C.W. Sulier in 1967, the Blue Grass Community Foundation confers the $1,000 Edith Schwab Memorial Scholarship to reward post-grad public servants. It’s one of the best education scholarships for K-12 teachers intending to work in Kentucky after graduation. Applicants are welcome to submit transcripts, resumes, and recommendations until March 4th.
9. Helen MacKay Memorial Scholarships
- Attend an accredited teacher education program in Hawaii full-time
- Maintain good academic standing in undergrad or post-baccalaureate studies
- Need financial assistance to start the unpaid student teaching semester
The Hawaii Education Association (HEA) delivers two $2,000 Helen MacKay Memorial Scholarships annually to students seeking PreK-12 teacher licensure in the “Aloha State.” It’s designed for college seniors and master’s candidates who need income while student teaching. Entrants must send a transcript, 300-word essay, recommendation, and financial budget plan.
10. James & Patricia Sood Scholarship
- Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen between 15 and 39 years old
- Have been impacted by a cancer diagnosis directly or through one’s family
- Enroll at a degree-granting institution for teacher certification
Given the 2018 GuideStar Gold Seal, the Ulman Foundation in Baltimore grants the $2,500 James & Patricia Sood Scholarship to honor a late English teacher who died of cancer. Young adults who’ve endured cancer treatment can apply until February 11th. Submit a one-page experience essay, the physician verification form, and proof of 40+ community service hours.
11. James Madison Graduate Fellowships
- Hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited U.S. institution
- Take 12+ semester credits in a qualifying master’s program
- Agree to teach American history of government in grades 7-12
Since 1994, an Alexandria-based nonprofit named for the 4th United States President has awarded $24,000 James Madison Graduate Fellowships each Spring. Current and future high school teachers pursuing an MA, MAT, or MEd focused on history education must file by March 1st. Selected fellows must attend a four-year Summer Institute about the Constitution in DC.
12. JCC Professional Development Scholarships
- Attend graduate school while working full-time at JCC centers
- Pursue master’s or doctoral degrees in service fields, including education
- Agree to work at least 12 months per year of scholarship funding
The Jewish Community Center (JCC) Association of North America offers renewable $5,000 Professional Development Scholarships to give full-time employees up to $20,000. Jewish or non-Jewish workers can submit an application, the essay, and two recommendations anytime. Preference is given for students at Hebrew College, Gratz College, and Hebrew Union College.
13. John M. and Mary A. Shanley Memorial Scholarship
- Be a Florida resident in Charlotte, Hendry, or Lee County
- Plan to declare select majors, including education, as full-time freshmen
- Graduate high school with a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
Each year, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation runs 128 scholarship funds that award nearly $740,000 total to “Sunshine State” students. The $20,000 John M. and Mary A. Shanley Memorial Scholarship can help two U.S. citizens seeking teaching careers. Eligible Floridians submit an unofficial transcript, a reference letter, and the FAFSA form before February 10th.
14. Leon Bradley Scholarship Program
- Be Native American, Black, Hispanic, Asian, or Pacific Islander
- Enter the final year of an accredited teacher preparation program
- Exhibit an ability to succeed in the student teaching semester
The American Association of School Personnel Administrators (AASPA) hosts the Leon Bradley Scholarship Program to distribute two $3,500 prizes to minority education majors. It’s intended to empower people of color who are earning their initial PreK-12 teaching certificate. The deadline is May 31st for sending a transcript, character reference, and dean recommendation.
15. Adam Smith Fellowships
- Enroll in a Doctor of Philosophy program in the U.S. or abroad
- Choose politics-related majors, such as history or economic education
- Demonstrate strong research skills and at least 3.0 GPAs
Sponsored by the Liberty Fund Inc. and Mercatus Center, the $10,000 Adam Smith Fellowships are the best teacher scholarships for earning a Ph.D. degree. Doctoral candidates interested in the political economy also receive free travel stipends for one-week Arlington colloquia. Apply before March 15th by submitting a cover letter, a current resume or CV, and short essays.
16. Minority Teacher Education Scholarships
- Be a Florida resident of color with a minimum 2.5 GPA
- Enroll in a state-approved teacher education program
- Have finished 60+ postsecondary credits for at least junior status
Chaired by Dr. Glenn Good, the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers Inc. has awarded the $4,000 Minority Teacher Education Scholarships for 20+ years to nurture school diversity. Funding aids in the initial PreK-12 certification process. Recipients agree to teach full-time at Florida public schools for at least one year. Diverse candidates are eligible until July 1st and November 30th.
17. Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarships
- Be a graduating high school senior or college undergrad in Indiana
- Declare any education major or minor for state PreK-12 licensure
- Carry 3.0 or better GPAs and have SAT/ACT scores in the top 20 percent
The Indiana Commission for Higher Education (ICHE) distributes 200 Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarships worth up to $7,500 each year for future in-state teachers. Scholarship money must be repaid if graduates don’t teach at participating Indiana schools for five years. Students sure about staying in Indiana can apply via ScholarTrack through November 30th.
18. Nicholas & Helena Patti Foundation Scholarship
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident of at least 50 percent Italian ancestry
- Pursue a college major in music, education, or music education
- Have completed 30+ college-level credits at an accredited institution
Established in 1952, the Joint Civic Committee on Italian Americans (JCCIA) confers the $6,500 Nicholas & Helena Patti Foundation Scholarship to reward students’ musical talents. Priority is given to Italians who are orphans or foster kids. Future music teachers must file a transcript, two references, a 500-word essay, and a recent photo before November 1st.
19. Future Teachers Scholarship Program
- Enroll full- or part-time at an accredited Oklahoma college
- Be admitted to a professional education program for PreK-12 teaching
- Rank in the top 15th percentile for GPA and standardized tests
The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education (OSRHE) runs the Future Teachers Scholarship Program to distribute in-state awards of $500 to $1,500 each year. Funds are renewable for education majors with 2.5 or better GPAs. Recipients must sign a contract to teach at “Sooner State” public schools for 36 months in high-need shortage areas.
20. Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant
- Attend a public Massachusetts college for an education major
- Have worked 2+ years as an in-state teaching paraprofessional
- Concentrate in math, science, language, or special education
The Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) in Massachusetts has the Paraprofessional Teacher Preparation Grant to cover up to $625 per credit or $7,500 annually. Applications are available from April 1st to July 1st for legal U.S. residents seeking their first bachelor’s degree. The conditional awards require serving as full-time Massachusetts teachers for two years.
21. Herman & Katherine Peters Foundation Scholarships
- Graduate high school with a strong academic record (3.0 GPA)
- Enroll full-time at a private, nonprofit Christian university
- Pick an environment-related major, such as forestry or science education
The Herman & Katherine Peters Foundation delivers four-year scholarships worth $10,000 to $20,000 overall to full-time Christian freshmen who help address environmental concerns. It’s currently reserved for undergrads studying in Illinois, Wisconsin, Colorado, Arizona, and Michigan. Eligible applicants have until April 1st to submit unofficial transcripts and an essay.
22. SILA Foundation College Scholarships
- Be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident taking 12+ college credits
- Major in eight approved disciplines, such as business and education
- Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA while working at least 20 hours weekly
The Securities and Insurance Licensing Association (SILA) Foundation in Brownsburg grants five $2,500 scholarships each year to undergrads juggling school and work. Hopeful business teachers should submit a transcript, reference letter, and employer verification form by May 31st. Recent recipients attend Oregon State, Pepperdine, Villanova, Rutgers, and more.
23. CERRA South Carolina Teaching Fellowships
- Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident graduating from high school
- Register at one of 11 participating South Carolina colleges
- Uphold a minimum 2.8 GPA in a teacher licensure program
The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention & Advancement (CERRA) has administered the South Carolina Teaching Fellowships since 1999 to assist 200+ undergrads. Fellows receive $6,000 annually for four years to cash out $24,000 in total. “Palmetto State” students must apply from September 1st to December 1st and undergo a regional screening interview.
24. Brown MAE Foundation Teaching Scholarship
- Be African American, Native American, Hispanic, or Asian
- Pursue a bachelor’s or graduate teaching degree at any U.S. college
- Demonstrate academic promise with a 2.5 or greater GPA
The Brown Medical and Educational (MAE) Foundation uses a 100-point rubric to choose $1,000 Teaching Scholarship recipients who intend to educate PreK-12 children. Selections are based on academic GPA, recommendation letters, community service, and students’ three-page essays. Eligible minority education majors can apply by mail, email, or fax until April 30th.
25. Edward G. and Helen A. Borgen Scholarships
- Be a U.S. citizen sponsored by a local DAR chapter
- Attend an accredited university for teacher preparation
- Reach at least sophomore status with a 3.5 or higher GPA
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) gives two Edward G. and Helen A. Borgen Scholarships yearly to non-traditional undergrads age 25 or older. One $1,500 prize goes to elementary education majors and another $1,500 award goes to secondary education minors. The online application process requires a 1,000-word career objectives essay by February 15th.
26. JCFS Chicago Scholarships
- Be a Jewish resident of the Chicago metropolitan area
- Attend an accredited bachelor’s or graduate program full-time
- Pursue helping professions like teaching, social work, and medicine
The Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago allocates nearly $500,000 each year for JCFS Chicago Scholarships worth $1,000 to $8,000 apiece. Funding is reserved for Jewish students from Cook, Will, Lake, Kane, McHenry, and DuPage counties. Entrants who apply before February 1st must be available for an in-person Chicago interview during March or April.
27. Whelan Foundation Scholarship Program
- Graduate in the top 20 percent from a Long Island high school
- Major in special education at an accredited U.S. university
- Exceed the minimum 3.5 GPA and 80 hours of community service
Started by Lawrence and Debi Whelan in 2008, the Whelan Foundation Scholarship Program grants up to $10,000 to financially needy Long Island residents. Funds are renewable if special education majors maintain 3.2 or greater GPAs in their PreK-12 certification prep. Interested New Yorkers must send a transcript, recommendation, and Student Aid Report by June 1st.
28. Minority Teaching Fellows Program
- Be a U.S. citizen who resides full-time in Tennessee
- Graduate high school with a minimum 2.75 GPA and 18 ACT score
- Study education for employment at an eligible PreK-12 school
Headquartered in Nashville, the Tennessee Student Assistance Corporation (TSAC) offers the Minority Teaching Fellows Program for $5,000 education scholarships. Nearly 50 students of color who attend eligible in-state institutions are funded yearly. Candidates have until April 15th to submit a recommendation, resume, transcript, and 250-word essay about teaching goals.
Related resource: 40 Great Scholarships for Minorities
29. Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships
- Be a U.S. college senior or graduate student
- Have passed 30+ college credits in STEM subjects
- Meet the preferred 3.0 GPA minimum
Named for the 28th U.S. President, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation gives $32,000 stipends to master’s fellows pursuing teaching careers after a STEM bachelor’s. Post-grads in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, and Ohio can apply. Selected fellows must teach for 36 months at high-need secondary schools after master’s completion.
30. J. Everett and Louise Light Scholarship
- Enroll full-time at a U.S. undergraduate or graduate school
- Major in special education with a dyslexia or autism emphasis
- Be a Kappa Delta Pi member with a minimum 3.0 GPA
The Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society gifts the $1,000 J. Everett and Louise Light Scholarship to active members who plan to teach PreK-12 children with disabilities. Applicants must submit a transcript, reference letter, and typed 750-word essay by May 1st. KDP has other best teacher scholarships like the Donna Gail Shaw Scholarship and Jack Rosen Scholarship.
Education majors shouldn’t forget to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) either. The United States government doesn’t only provide need-based grants and interest-incurring loans. There’s also the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education Grant. For 2019-20, the TEACH Grant gave up to $3,764 to elementary and secondary education students in high-need fields. Six shortage areas, including bilingual and reading education, are listed. Combine the TEACH Grant with the best education scholarships above to minimize tuition costs.
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