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About Financial Aid
Learn strategies for financing your education, from finding scholarships to exploring loan forgiveness.
About Financial Aid
Learn strategies for financing your education, from finding scholarships to exploring loan forgiveness.

Cost-Saving Strategies

There are many opportunities to reduce or eliminate your preparation expenses.
  • Apply for scholarships and financial aid

    There are significant scholarship opportunities for aspiring teachers in North Carolina. For example, the Epsilon Sigma Alpha Scholarship offers up to $2,500 to undergraduate students or current teachers seeking additional training to work specifically with people with special needs. For more information on the Epsilon Sigma Alpha scholarship and others like it, see Explore Financial Aid, or check out our national scholarship database.

  • Explore loan forgiveness programs

    If you teach in high-demand schools or subjects like math, science and special education, the federal government and many states have created programs to forgive some or all of your student loans. For starters, check out North Carolina’s Teacher Loan Forgiveness Program.

  • Apply for teacher preparation scholarships

    Whether you’re in high school, college or graduate school, there are lots of opportunities that you may be eligible for. See a list of featured scholarships in North Carolina.

  • Start your preparation at a community college

    Have you considered starting your undergrad at a community college? Many community colleges offer transfer programs to larger universities. You can start preparation at the community college and finish your degree at a four-year institution.

  • Prepare to teach while in undergrad

    You can avoid paying tuition for a graduate school program by completing all of the coursework and preparation you need to become a licensed teacher as part of your bachelor’s degree. 

    Head over to About Licensure to learn more.

  • Earn a salary while completing your coursework

    If you have a bachelor’s degree, but haven’t completed a teacher preparation program, you can explore alternative licensure programs that allow you to take coursework while you start working in the classroom.

Not sure where to begin? Get personalized advice.

If you want help finding scholarships and financial aid you're best suited for, schedule a free 1-on-1 coaching call.

When you sign up, you'll get access to a checklist app that keeps track of application deadlines and best practices, and fee rebates of up to $100.

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Key vocabulary

All this money talk can get confusing. Here are some key terms to help you get started.

A scholarship is a direct payment made to the student or the institution that student is attending. It is a set amount of funds awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement or financial need, along with demonstrated success and interest in specific areas defined by the scholarship.

In some cases, these scholarships can come in the form of a forgivable loan, which is paid out like a scholarship to individuals committed to teaching for a certain number of years, in a particular subject or in a low-performing school. However, if you do not fulfill all the requirements of the program within the allotted time, these "scholarships" can be reclaimed and you will have to pay the money back (just as you would a loan). The North Carolina Teaching Fellows program is one such program.

  • Scholarships

    A scholarship is a direct payment made to the student or the institution that student is attending. It is a set amount of funds awarded on the basis of academic or other achievement or financial need, along with demonstrated success and interest in specific areas defined by the scholarship.

    In some cases, these scholarships can come in the form of a forgivable loan, which is paid out like a scholarship to individuals committed to teaching for a certain number of years, in a particular subject or in a low-performing school. However, if you do not fulfill all the requirements of the program within the allotted time, these "scholarships" can be reclaimed and you will have to pay the money back (just as you would a loan). The North Carolina Teaching Fellows program is one such program.

  • Grants

    Financial aid from the federal and/or state government to help you pay for education expenses at an eligible college or career school. For example, Pell Grants are a common federal grant. (Good news! Grants do not have to be paid back.)

  • Loans

    A loan is a sum of money that can be used to help finance the cost of your education and is expected to be paid back with interest after you graduate.

    If loans are needed to pay for college, many students first take loans from the federal government because they tend to have more favorable rates, and then take private loans from a bank if they have maxed out on federal loans and still need additional funds.

  • Loan Forgiveness

    If a student commits to teaching for a set period of time, oftentimes in a certain geography, subject or grade level, they can avoid having to pay some or all of their loans.

    Because they can be for substantial amounts, loan forgiveness is among the highest quality/value financing opportunities for handling the cost of education. However, each program varies, so it is critical that candidates understand the specific requirements for the type of loans and amounts that can be forgiven, as well as the teaching commitment they must fulfill.

  • Eligibility

    Eligibility is the basic criteria you must meet in order to be able to apply for an opportunity such as a scholarship, grant, internship or loan forgiveness program.

  • Application Process

    To be considered for a scholarship, loan forgiveness or other opportunity, you must proceed with the application process, which usually includes an application composed of a form or collection of forms.

    Additional materials, like recommendation letters, school transcripts and other documents that determine your eligibility, may also be required.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Do you have information on resources outside of the U.S.?

    TeachNC currently only provides support and information for opportunities specific to those seeking teaching opportunities within the United States.

  • When do I receive funding and what can I use it for?

    If you have been awarded a scholarship or grant, depending on the terms of that award, you may receive it directly or it may be directly distributed to the institution that you are attending to offset tuition costs. Other opportunities, such as loan forgiveness, may be distributed in other ways like directly reflected in the remaining balance of your loans. Each method of distribution is unique to the opportunity and you will find additional details for each specific process on the information page or original website for each opportunity itself.

  • How and when do I need to apply to these opportunities?

    Most scholarship, grant, and internship opportunities have specific deadlines that are available on their information page and website. Usually these pages also provide instructions to aid you in the application process.

  • Are there special scholarships and opportunities that are relevant to my situation (e.g. diversity, region I’m from, where/what I want to teach, etc.)?

    Yes, check out Explore Financial Aid to see Houston-area financial aid opportunities. You can use our national database to browse other options, as well.

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