Federal Student Grants

Federal Pell Grant

A federal Pell Grant is:

  • Federally funded (funding not limited).
  • Offered to students with exceptional need per federal criteria.
  • Offered by WMU as federal Pell Grant on offer letter.


  • Undergraduate student.
  • First bachelor's degree.
  • Lifetime limit of six years of eligibility, or the full-time equivalent of six years if attending less than full time. See an example of how this rule works on studentaid.gov.
  • Offer amount based upon student aid index, enrollment intensity and enrollment period.

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant

A federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant is:

  • Federally funded (limited funding).
  • Need-based.
  • Offered to students with exceptional need.
  • Funds may not be available for students who apply after April 1 for the upcoming aid year.
  • Offer amounts at WMU: minimum $200, maximum $1,200.


  • Undergraduate student.
  • First bachelor's degree.
  • Offer eligibility based upon student aid index, enrollment and other resources.
  • Offer amount adjusted or canceled if enrolled less than half time.
  • Offer may be adjusted or canceled if your SAI changes or you receive additional resources. 

Pride points

  • 60% of students receive grant money directly from the school, which is above the national average for public schools

  • 9 scholarships and grants are available for Michigan state residents

  • 50+ endowed scholarships are available from generous WMU donors

Federal TEACH Grant

Western Michigan University students may wish to participate in the U.S. Department of Education's Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program. For any TEACH Grant first disbursed on or after Oct. 1, 2020, and before Oct. 1, 2024, the maximum award of $4,000 is reduced by 5.7% ($228), resulting in a maximum award of $3,772. We strongly encourage you to consider that this grant has a high potential of turning into a loan. It is estimated that 80% of students who participate in the federal TEACH Grant program will be unable to use the funds as grants. These students will see their funds converted to a federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with accumulated interest.

If you are not already committed to teaching full time in a high-need subject in a school serving low-income students, you should not consider this as a possible source of aid. A student who receives a federal TEACH Grant and fails to fulfill the terms of the "Agreement to Serve" will incur substantial indebtedness.


The Federal TEACH Grant program will provide up to $4,000 per academic year ($16,000 total for undergraduate programs; $8,000 total for graduate studies) in grants to students enrolled full time who are enrolled in TEACH eligible programs with the intent to teach full time in high-need subject areas at schools that serve students from low-income families.

Students enrolled less than full time will receive a prorated amount per semester. Total financial aid may not exceed the cost of attendance, so receiving a federal TEACH Grant may reduce your eligibility for other types of financial aid.

Teaching obligation

  • In exchange for receiving a federal TEACH Grant, you must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a high-need field in a public or private elementary or secondary school that serves low-income students.
  • As a recipient of a federal TEACH Grant, you must teach for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which you received the grant.
  • If you fail to complete this service obligation, all funds you received from the federal TEACH Grant will be converted to a federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education.
  • You will be charged interest from the date your grants were disbursed.
  • High-need fields

    High-need fields can be found at the Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing. The high-need field must be designated as such for the state in which you are teaching at the time you begin teaching. This means the TEACH-eligible program you choose now might no longer be eligible by the time you begin your teaching obligation.

    Current high-need fields are:

    • Bilingual education and English language acquisition.
    • Foreign language.
    • Mathematics.
    • Reading.
    • Science.
    • Special education.
    • Other fields as designated by the federal government, the state government or a local educational agency.
  • Low-income schools

    See the U.S. Department of Education’s Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits for current information. Low-income designation is made at the individual school level, not the school district level.

  • Eligibility and maintenance criteria
    • Students interested in receiving a TEACH Grant must be enrolled in one of the following WMU TEACH-eligible programs.
    • You must confirm within 120 days of completing or otherwise ceasing enrollment in your teacher preparation program that you are fulfilling, or plan to fulfill, the terms and conditions of your service agreement.
    • You have eight years from the time you complete your program of study to complete four years of qualified teaching. If you believe you will not be able to fulfill your obligation on time, consider requesting a suspension.
    • Once you are teaching in a qualified school in a qualified program, your school administrator must notify the U.S. Department of Education each year that you are meeting your teaching obligation.
    • You may cancel your federal TEACH Grant while you are a student by returning the funds disbursed to your account within 14 days after the grant has been disbursed by contacting Student Financial Aid.
    • You may request your federal TEACH Grant be converted to a loan if you determine you cannot meet the service obligation by contacting the U.S. Department of Education. This loan will be serviced by FedLoan Servicing. Contact Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency by phone at (800) 699-2908 or online at myfedloan.us.
  • Federal TEACH Grant application

    U.S. citizens or eligible noncitizens admitted to TEACH-eligible programs may apply for a federal TEACH Grant by completing a Federal Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and submitting the appropriate year's TEACH undergraduate and graduate application. Student Financial Aid will determine your eligibility and approve your offer. Please allow two weeks for processing. Once offered, you will receive a revised offer notice via your WMU email. After you have been offered the federal TEACH Grant, you must also complete TEACH Grant entrance counseling. You must also complete the "Agreement to Serve."

  • Federal TEACH Grant entrance counseling

    You must complete federal TEACH Grant entrance counseling after you have been offered the grant in order to certify you understand your teaching obligation and to apply for the program. If you complete the entrance counseling requirement before you have been offered the federal TEACH Grant, WMU will not receive your information. Next, you must complete the "Agreement to Serve."

  • Agreement to Serve

    Every year after you have been approved for a federal TEACH Grant, you must complete the U.S. Department of Education's online Agreement to Serve (ATS) using your Federal Student Aid ID. You cannot complete the ATS until you have been offered a federal TEACH Grant by WMU. When you sign the service agreement, you are promising to meet the requirements of the federal TEACH Grant. If you do not meet those requirements, your grant will convert to a federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan with accrued interest from the date the grant funds were first disbursed. If the grant is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.

  • Other eligibility criteria
    • You must provide proof from ACT, SAT, GRE or GMAT that you scored above the 75th percentile in at least one of the subject areas.
    • You must maintain a 3.25 GPA prior to each payment period.
    • If you are a graduate student, you must document that you are a current or former teacher or retiree with expertise in a high-need field.
  • TEACH exit counseling

    You must complete federal TEACH Grant exit counseling before you leave school. Exit counseling is required when you:

    • Are no longer enrolled in a TEACH-eligible program (you change your major).
    • Graduate.
    • Are no longer enrolled at least half time.
  • Questions

    If you have additional questions about the federal TEACH Grant program, please call (269) 387-6000 or email finaid-info@wmich.edu. The U.S. Department of Education also provides details about the federal TEACH Grant program.

More funding opportunities

  • Loans: Loans are another way to finance your education. Undergraduate and graduate students and parents of dependent students may borrow money to pay for educational expenses.

  • Institutional scholarships: Scholarships and grants are types of financial aid that do not need to be repaid. They are a great way to pay for your education and may reduce the need for student loans.

  • State of Michigan scholarships: Residents of Michigan may qualify for scholarships or grants. The state of Michigan will notify WMU of student eligibility, and the financial aid office will offer students accordingly.

  • Private scholarships: Private scholarships are free funds from sources outside of WMU. Scholarships that are received from a private source must be reported to the University and must be factored in to existing student financial aid offers.