Student loans 7 February 2023

Student Loans For Future Teachers

This blog post gives some of the different types of student loans for students studying towards a teaching qualification. The blog also looks at the pros and cons of each type of student loan for these future teachers to consider.

Student Loans For Future Teachers

Teachers are the driving force behind every profession and student loans for future teachers play an important role in financing their education. Paying for college out of your own pocket may be strenuous and at times unattainable. There is an increased demand for educators and the government, as well as private lenders, are constantly issuing loans specifically designed for teachers.

Federal Student Loans

Federal student loans are offered by the government and can be issued in the form of loans or grants. They offer benefits that make repayment easier for the borrower and additionally offer protection from high-interest rates. However, some of the loans are capped and have a limit to how much a student can borrow each year.



Direct Subsidized
Direct Unsubsidized LoansGrad PLUS LoansParent PLUS Loans
  1. Who is eligible? 
UndergraduatesUndergraduates, GraduatesGraduates, Professional StudentsParents
  1. Current interest rate
3.47%4.30%5.3% 7.54%
  1. Loan limit per year
Graduate year onwards: $20,500Dependents:$31,000 for Independents:$57,000No maximum limitNo maximum limit
  1. Loan fee
4% of the loan amount4% of the loan amount4.23% of the loan amount4.23% of loan amount
  1. Repayment duration
– Repayment begins
6 months after you cease
to be a student

– Total repayment in maximum 30yrs
– Repayment begins
6 months after you cease
to be a student

– Total repayment in 10–25yrs
– Repayment starts 6 months after graduation


– Total repayment in 10–25yrs

– Repayment begins 60 days after disbursement


– Total repayment in 10–25yrs

Federal Student Loan Options

Direct Subsidized Loan

This is a government-subsidized loan that has a fixed interest rate. They are best for undergraduates and graduates who need additional funding when previous loans or grant money is not enough. The borrower needs to be enrolled at least half-time in a post-secondary education program and be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident 

Pros: Is eligible for loan forgiveness

Cons: May not be enough to cover the whole cost of attendance


Direct Unsubsidized Loan

The borrower of this type of loan is responsible for interest accruing during the lifetime of the loan. The loan is available to both undergraduate and graduate students. They assist by giving you additional financial aid that has a lower interest compared to pirate loans. Eligibility is not need-based and students need to be U.S. citizens and be enrolled at least part-time.

Pros: Has a lower interest rate compared to other loans

Cons: Loan limit is not enough to cover all certified costs of attendance


Grad PLUS Loan

This is a federal loan with a fixed interest rate for graduate or professional students. The loan is meant to fill in the financial gap left after previous federal loans have been diminished and the whole cost of attendance has not been covered. Graduates enrolled at least part-time are eligible for this loan.

Pros: Offers additional aid to cover the entire cost of attendance

Cons: Interest accrues over the lifespan of the loan


Parent PLUS Loan

This is a federal loan issued to a student’s parents as a direct plus loan. They are to be taken out by parents directly and the parent is charged with paying back the loan. The loan is for borrowers who still have gaps in funding their education after borrowing the maximum limit of their unsubsidized and subsidized loans. The loan is only eligible for parents.

Pros: Parent borrowers can apply for deferment

Cons: A credit check is required

Steps to Apply

Federal Student Loan Application

Application for a federal loan is done online and students need to first fill out the Free Application for Federal Aid (FAFSA). To fill out the FAFSA, you will need to gather information pertaining to yourself, income, and taxes. Completing and submitting the FAFSA is the main step in qualifying for and getting a federal loan.


To fill out the FAFSA you will need the following personal and financial information/documentation:

  • Social Security Number
  • Alien Registration Number for non-U.S. citizens
  • A Federal Student Aid (FSA) Identification
  • Federal income tax returns, W-2s
  • Bank statements
  • Records of investments/ assets
  • Records of untaxed income
  • Driver’s license number (optional)
  • List of schools you wish to attend
  • Contact information: phone number or email address


TEACH Grant Application

The Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program offers additional financial assistance to aspiring students pursuing a career in education. The total award money for undergraduate students is up to $16,000 and that for graduates is up to a maximum of $8,000.

The program offers financial assistance to undergraduate and graduate future teachers in exchange for a minimum of four-year teaching services after completing their studies and upon graduation. Upon successful completion of the service, the borrower is not obligated to repay the award money received through the TEACH Grant. Applicants for the grant program must be enrolled in participating institutions to remain eligible.


Pros: Need not repay the amount awarded to you

Cons: Requires a long commitment time to even out the aid failure to which the grant turns into a direct unsubsidized loan

Steps to Apply

The first step to applying for the TEACH Grant will be to fill out and submit your FAFSA. Submit the form as early as possible as financial aid is disbursed on a first come first served basis. Ensure that you are planning to attend a participating school. Your school will then notify you of your eligibility and further status concerning the TEACH Grant program.

To apply, you will need the following personal and financial information/documentation:

  • A complete and submitted FAFSA
  • A Federal TEACH Grant Application
  • Complete Initial Counseling for the TEACH
  • TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve (ATS)
  • Documentation of teaching service before final approval


What is the deadline for FAFSA? 

The application deadline for the 2022–2023 school year is June 30, 2023. The deadline can differ from state to state and also different schools have different time frames. Check with your school to establish their exact deadline.

Are teaching grants free? 

Teaching grants are free and are given out without any obligation to pay back the awarded sum of money. The grants have a caveat though. The student has to agree to teach for at least four years at an eligible school. 


Can federal loans be forgiven?

Yes, they can. Federal loans are susceptible to loan forgiveness. There are certain situations that can have your loan forgiven or discharged.

Final Thoughts

Getting higher education can be hindered by inadequate or unavailable funds. For future teachers, this should not be the case. The government recognizes the importance of educators and therefore assists them in several ways to ensure that they get the higher education they yearn for. Future teachers can access federal loans and grants to help them pay off some of their costs of attendance in the quest to become professional teachers. To qualify for federal loans, applicants must fill out the FAFSA. This way, it will be easy for schools to determine the amount of financial aid to extend to each student. Additionally, grants are also a better way for financially challenged students to qualify to be teachers and in return, offer to teach in uniquely challenged school environments. Teachers’ loans should be used as a bridge between future educators and a thriving fulfilling career.