Last updated on July 9th, 2024 at 03:24 pm

Current and future teachers alike understand the role of professional development in their ability to grow as educators. For many, graduate school is necessary, but they may find it challenging to fund a master’s degree in education.

Fortunately,  scholarships for education majors are often available, and grants for teachers to get a master’s degree. Many scholarships and grants are not based solely on financial need, providing options to even more candidates. 

Grants for Teachers Looking to Get a Master’s Degree

These are some of the most well-known grants for teachers to get a master’s degree:

TEACH Federal Grant

The TEACH Grant is a federal student aid program that awards up to $4,000 per year to students who meet the qualifying criteria after completing their FAFSA form. It is a free grant, but those who receive it must “repay” it by teaching in a low-income school or an underserved area for four years.

James Madison Graduate Fellowship

Known as one of the most prestigious teaching grants in the country, the James Madison Graduate Fellowship awards up to $24,000 to qualified teachers who intend to work at the secondary level and plan to focus their careers on civics, government, or history. The James Madison Graduate Fellowship grant is awarded to one student per state during each academic year.

Knowles Teaching Fellows Program

This grant cannot be applied directly to a graduate degree program. However, teachers can put it toward professional development or other programs that allow them to build their skills as educators. Each year, 35 fellowships are awarded to teachers in the first five years of their careers. It is a five-year fellowship valued at about $150,000.

Fund for Teachers

Fund for Teacher is a versatile grant available to any teacher interested in professional development. Teachers awarded the grant receive a one-time payment of up to $5,000. Two teachers can apply as a team and receive a payout of $10,000. Grant funding can be put toward learning opportunities anywhere in the world.

Mathematics Study & Professionalism Grants

This grant is available to National Council of Teachers of Mathematics members. The Program of Mathematics Study & Active Professionalism Grants will award up to $24,000 to qualified teachers interested in pursuing a graduate degree to further their mathematics teaching careers. It is available to members working with students in preschool through 12th grade.

Segal AmeriCorps Education Award

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is available to teachers who have completed an AmeriCorps term of service. Recipients can use it to repay qualified student loans or to pursue a graduate degree. The award amount varies from year to year; in 2023, it was worth nearly $7,000.

The Ruth Crymes TESOL Fellowship for Graduate Study

The Ruth Crymes TESOL Fellowship for Graduate Study awards $1,500 to one teacher annually who intends to pursue a career teaching English as a second language. It is designed to support graduate students who want to improve their classroom instruction.

How to Apply for Education Grants

Applying for education grants can be an overwhelming process — at times, it may even feel tedious. However, the effort is worth it when you become a grant recipient.

These are the best practices for applying for an education grant:

Find the Proper Grant

Searching for the right grant for your graduate degree program or professional development opportunity is important. These are sources you can use to search for education grants:

  • GetEdFunding
  • National Education Association Foundation
  • GrantWatch
  • U.S. Department of Education
  • DonorsChoose

Identify the Need for the Grant

Most grants are awarded based on need, so it’s important to identify your need and express it clearly. You may need to produce supporting documents to verify the need and highlight how the grant would help you fulfill your need.

Find a Source of Funding That Supports Your Need

Many organizations award grants specifically to teachers working in a particular area, such as TESOL teachers or those wanting to teach secondary mathematics.

Track and Show Expenses

Most grants require you to submit a budget proposal outlining how you would spend the money, should you be awarded it.

Solicit Administrative Support

Building or district-level administrators are often willing to review your grant application, provide feedback, or draft a letter of recommendation. As experienced educational leaders, they are likely familiar with the grant application process and can provide valuable feedback and support.

Scholarships for Teachers Looking to Get a Master’s Degree

These are some of the scholarships available to teachers interested in pursuing a graduate degree:

STEM Scholarships Through AFCEA

AFCEA offers a variety of STEM scholarships to undergraduate students that can help them finance their bachelor’s degree while saving for their master’s. Their scholarships range from $2,500 to $5,000 and are available to sophomore and junior education students at four-year universities.

NCTM 7-12 Secondary Teacher Course Work Scholarships

The National Council for Teachers of Mathematics offers secondary teacher coursework scholarships that are valued at up to $10,000. These scholarships are available to teachers looking to further their education to pursue a career teaching secondary-level mathematics.

PDK Prospective Educator Scholarships

The PDK Prospective Educator Scholarships are available to students interested in earning a master’s degree in education to teach in public education. More than 100 scholarships are available, some of which are one-time payouts, while others are renewable. Scholarships are valued between $500 and $4,000.

Montessori Teacher Education Scholarships

The American Montessori Society offers a teacher education scholarship program for teachers who specialize in the Montessori approach and are interested in professional development opportunities. Typically, several dozen teachers are chosen each year to receive the award, and scholarship totals have reached nearly $60,000.

Hispanic Scholarship Fund

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund is available to students of Hispanic heritage interested in a higher education degree program. More than 10,000 merit-based scholarships are awarded each year, ranging in value from $500 to $5,000 based on the student’s individual needs.

The Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship

The Agnes Jones Jackson Scholarship is a $2,000 scholarship available to Black or African American NAACP members under the age of 25 who intend to enroll in a full-time undergraduate or graduate degree program. It is a merit-based scholarship awarded according to financial need.

Nancy Larson Foundation College Scholarship

The Nancy Larson Foundation College Scholarship is designed for undergraduate students interested in pursuing a career in elementary education. The foundation awards five $1,500 scholarships annually to qualified students.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund (TMCF) Wells Fargo Scholarship

The Thurgood Marshall College Fund Wells Fargo Scholarship is available to qualified students attending one of the TMCF member schools, primarily composed of Historically Black Colleges and Primarily Black Institutions. The fund awards 138 students annually with scholarships valued at up to $5,000 and can be applied toward tuition and fees.

Future Teacher Scholarship

The Future Teacher Scholarship is offered to high school graduates from Oklahoma who agree to teach in regions of the state or country with a teaching shortage. The scholarship is valued at $1,500 and can be renewed if the recipient fills out an additional application the following year.

Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers

The Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers is available to Texas students interested in pursuing a career in education. This scholarship provides  $8,000 to $10,000 in financial support and can be used at specific university-based education training programs in the state. Currently, more than 350 students have received this scholarship.

National Merit Scholarship Program

The National Merit Scholarship Program is an academic competition that awards scholarships based on students’ PSAT scores. Students whose scores qualify them for the scholarship earn $2,500 in funds that can be applied toward tuition and fees at a college or university of their choosing, making this one of the most coveted scholarships among high school graduates.

How to Apply for Education Scholarships

Applying for education scholarships can be relatively simple if you follow these tips:

  • Research available scholarships
  • Verify your eligibility
  • Get organized
  • Include all necessary information
  • Double-check your work
  • Submit your application by the deadline
  • Provide references
  • Follow up after you have submitted your applications

Financial Aid and Loans for Teachers

Financial aid and loans are typically available to education majors, including those pursuing a graduate degree. To determine if you are eligible for financial aid or federal student loans, you must complete the FAFSA application.

Personal Savings or Pay-as-You-Go

Teachers who want to pursue a career in educational leadership complement any grants, scholarships, or financial aid with their savings. Some universities offer a pay-as-you-go option to those relying on personal income to finance their degree.

Invest in Your Future at Salem University

At Salem University, we believe that access to higher education is crucial, and we strive to support our education majors as they work to pursue their passion and become educational leaders. We offer a variety of graduate degree programs in education, including a master’s degree in educational leadership and a Master of Education in Curriculum and Instruction. In addition, it provides teachers with skills-based training that allows them to elevate their careers. Request more information about scholarships for teaching degrees and the graduate degree programs at Salem University today.

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