Salary, Benefits & Aid

Overview

overview

As a Teach For America corps member, you will be a full-time, salaried employee of your school district, charter school, or other employer. Your salary and benefits will be the same as other beginning teachers working for the same employer.

To help ease the transition from college or your current job into the corps, Teach For America offers need-based transitional funding packages to eligible corps members. Read more about our transitional loans below.

You may also be eligible for additional financial benefits and discounts. Partnerships with AmeriCorps, education-related companies, and private retailers make these incentives possible for Teach For America corps members and alumni. Learn more about these various benefits and discounts below.

Visit the Grad School & Employer Benefits page for benefits available to you after the corps.

Salary & Benefits

salary-benefits
  • Salary
  • Health Benefits
  • Retirement Benefits
icon of a check with a dollar sign

Salary

As a corps member, you will be a full-time, salaried employee. Salaries typically range from $33,000 to $58,000 depending on where you teach.

Compare expected salaries and living expenses on the Regional Comparison Spreadsheet (updated information for 2019 is coming soon). While urban areas tend to offer higher salaries, the cost of living is also higher. Salaries in rural areas tend to be lower, but you’ll likely spend less for rent, gas, and other expenses.

Depending on where you teach, you can expect your first paycheck between late August and late September.

Questions? Use the chat feature at the bottom of the page or contact us to learn more.

Health Benefits

Your employer will determine your health benefits, so the details will vary depending on where you teach.

Many employers offer:

  • Medical, dental, and vision care
  • Referral-free access to doctors
  • Routine preventative care
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • Employee assistance and wellness programs
  • Family-planning services
  • Vaccinations (e.g., flu shots)
  • Life insurance

Retirement Benefits

Your employer may provide your retirement benefits. These benefits usually include employer-supported pension plans or 403(b) investment accounts.

Transitional Funding

transitional-funding
  • Transitional Funding Overview
  • Applying for Funding
  • Costs to Expect
  • Learn More
icon of a set of luggage

Overview

As with any new job, you should prepare for expenses that might arise before your first paycheck. Covering these costs can be difficult, so Teach For America offers need-based funding packages of no-interest loans and grants to enable corps members in all financial situations to join the corps.

Teach For America covers housing, food, and daily transportation costs during summer training to allow you to focus on your development as a teacher. However, you should anticipate additional certification and moving costs during this time.

Compare expenses and estimated costs across all 51 regions in the Regional Comparison Spreadsheet (updated information for 2019 is coming soon).

Applying for Transitional Funding

You can apply for a need-based transitional funding package at the time of your final interview and again after being admitted to the corps. Details and deadlines are provided on the application.

Transitional funding packages are granted based on your demonstrated need, cost of moving, and cost of living expenses in your assigned region. While Teach For America would like to give everyone the amount required to fully pay for all transitional costs, there is limited funding that must be distributed across thousands of corps members.

Packages are designed to assist with some transitional costs including, but not limited to:

  • Travel to training and your region
  • Relocation expenses such as rent, gas, moving, etc.
  • Testing and initial certification fees

Once you’re in the classroom, it can take from 3-6 weeks after the start of the school year to receive your first paycheck from the school district. You should have a planned budget for costs that won’t be covered by a transitional funding package.

Start your application to the corps today.

Costs to Expect

You should anticipate expenses before receiving your first teaching paycheck. These will include expenses specific to becoming a teacher, as well as expenses related to moving to your region and initial living expenses.


Teaching-Specific Expenses

Corps members will incur teaching-specific expenses, including testing, initial certification, fingerprinting, and background checks.

Corps members should plan to pay for these expenses out-of-pocket. If you receive a need-based transitional funding package, you may choose to use part of this award for initial testing and certification expenses.

You can learn more about costs and payment options by visiting each region's page or checking out the Regional Comparison Spreadsheet (updated information for 2019 is coming soon). You'll also receive more specifics upon your assignment to a region.


Living Expenses

 

Expenses Considered in Transitional Funding Packages
Expense
Average
Up to 2 months of rent & utilities after training $400–1,100
Apartment deposit (equivalent up to first & last month of rent) $8002,200
Travel to training $300500
Shipping & storage $100
Furniture $350
Professional clothing $215
School supplies $250

 

Expenses NOT Considered in Transitional Funding Packages
Expense
Average
General living costs before summer training begins (such as rent & food) $400–2,000
Cable & internet activation & bills $50200
Cell phone activation & bills  $50200
Additional travel (vacation or traveling to your region from summer training) $100–1,000
Car payments & insurance bills $200+/month
Academic fees Varies
Medical bills Varies

Compare Regions

Compare expenses and estimated costs across all 51 regions in the Regional Comparison Spreadsheet (updated information for 2019 is coming soon).

Housing

During summer training, corps members have a great opportunity to connect and find housing together. 

New corps members can also check with their regional team for guidance on finding housing. See more about housing incentives.

Training Costs Covered by Teach For America

Teach For America covers housing, food, and daily transportation costs during summer training. 

 

AmeriCorps Benefits

americorps
  • AmeriCorps Overview
  • Education Awards
  • Loan Forbearance
  • Interest Payments
A circular logo with a black background and text reading "Americorps."

Overview

During one or both years of your corps service, you may be eligible to enroll as an AmeriCorps member. To qualify for enrollment, you must meet specific citizenship and service term requirements.

AmeriCorps awards rely on federal funding. Given the competitive grant process and dependence on Congressional funding, these benefits are not guaranteed.

Education Awards

After each successful year as an AmeriCorps member, you may receive an education award. The specific award amount varies each year, but is typically between $5,300-$5,900.

If there is a shortfall of funding, we will prioritize the allocation of existing AmeriCorps benefits to:

  • Those who have qualified federal or state student loans
  • Those who teach in a region with the highest certification costs

Using Your Award

An AmeriCorps education award can only be used toward:

  • Repayment of qualified student loans (a loan in your name provided by a federal or state agency)
  • Payment of current or future educational expenses at a Title IV institution of higher education (includes most colleges and universities)

Many corps members use their education award to help with the costs of required certification coursework. For more details about certification costs, download our Regional Comparison Spreadsheet.


Learn More

Learn the full details of the AmeriCorps education award.

Note: Those who have already served in an AmeriCorps program and earned previous education awards may be ineligible for additional education awards. 

Several colleges and universities across the country match the AmeriCorps education award for their undergraduate or graduate students. See the full list.

Loan Forbearance

The AmeriCorps loan forbearance benefit allows corps members to postpone regular monthly loan payments while serving as an AmeriCorps member. You can use loan forbearance to save for a major expense (car, graduate school, etc.), pay off loans more efficiently, or put money toward other responsibilities.

AmeriCorps only guarantees forbearance for qualified loans–those provided through state or federal agencies.  However, several private lenders have determined that AmeriCorps membership is a valid reason for loan forbearance.

Ultimately, for private loans, it’s at the lender’s discretion whether or not to grant forbearance.

Interest Payments

Loans that are in forbearance still continue to accrue interest. AmeriCorps will pay up to 100 percent of the interest that accrues on your qualified student loans (those provided through a federal or state agency) after each successful year as an AmeriCorps member. Interest payments will not be deducted from your AmeriCorps education award.

Both loan forbearance and interest payment are subject to eligibility. Learn more about the AmeriCorps loan forbearance and interest accrual payment benefits.

Note: Per regulations, the AmeriCorps education award and interest accrual payments are considered taxable income for the year they are used.

Please send any questions to americorps@teachforamerica.org.

Scholarships & Grants

scholarships
  • Scholarships & Grants Overview
A circular icon with a document and red ribbon

Overview

As a teacher, you may qualify for national and regional scholarships and grants. These programs can help fund classroom materials, education expenses, and more.

Explore Scholarships and Grants for Teachers

Housing Assistance

housing
  • Housing Overview
  • Housing Programs
an icon of an apartment building

Overview

Several national and regional housing programs can assist you in the home purchasing and financing process

Additionally, regional team members can provide housing suggestions and assistance if you're relocating for the corps. Reach out to specific regions to find out more. 

California Extra Credit Teacher Program

  • The California Extra Credit Teacher Program provides teachers with mortgage assistance in the form of either a reduced interest rate mortgage loan (mortgage revenue bond) or an annual reduction of their federal income taxes with a tax credit (mortgage credit certificate program).
  • The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) administers the Extra Credit Teacher Program on a statewide basis and has made the program available to all areas in the state. In addition to CalHFA's statewide program, the following jurisdictions administer the program at the local level: Santa Cruz county and the cities of Los Angeles and Oakland.
  • Potential program participants may apply through participating mortgage brokers and lenders, and should contact CalHFA or their local jurisdiction to receive specific information about the program administered in their area.
  • Find out more.

Chicago Teacher Housing Resource Center

  • The Teacher Housing Resource Center (THRC) is a unique program in which the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) join private property management companies, residential developers and lending institutions to provide both rental and for-sale housing incentives for teachers in Chicago.
  • Currently, 26 private property management companies, 6 residential developers and 9 lending institutions serve as partners.
  • The THRC website provides general information about Chicago neighborhoods and allows teachers to search for rental partners by CPS school location.

Connecticut Finance Housing Authority: Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program

  • If you are a Connecticut certified full-time or part-time public school teacher or vocational-technical teacher employed by and teaching in a priority or transitional school district, or are certified to teach and are teaching in a state-identified subject matter shortage area, you may qualify for the Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program.
  • Connecticut Housing Finance Authority (CHFA) provides a 30-year, fixed rate mortgage loan.
  • You may be qualified for a mortgage based on CHFA guidelines that include credit, income and employment history.
  • Find out more.

Department of Housing and Urban Development

  • The Teacher Next Door program was established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to offer single-family houses, townhouses and condominiums for sale to teachers at a 50 percent discount.
  • The goal of this program is to encourage teachers to buy homes in low and moderate-income neighborhoods, and the house purchased must be the teacher’s primary residence for three years.
  • Find out more.

Los Angeles Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program

  • The Los Angeles Teachers Mortgage Assistance Program is an informational resource for Los Angeles Unified School District employees interested in homeownership.
  • The program offers workshops, assistance securing a mortgage, and access to realtors who can help teachers in Los Angeles progress toward home ownership.
  • Find out more.

Mississippi Housing Assistance For Teachers Program

  • The Mississippi Housing Assistance For Teachers (HAT) program was designed to assist with funding so that teachers can buy homes.
  • An assistance promissory note is converted to an interest-free grant if the approved applicant is participating as a licensed teacher, and must agree to employment of no less than three years in a school district where a critical shortage of teachers exists.
  • State assistance will cover the actual amount of funds needed to close on a home. This amount is not to exceed $6,000.
  • Find out more.

San Francisco Teacher Next Door Program

  • The San Francisco Teacher Next Door (TND) Loan Program provides downpayment assistance loans to credentialed teachers employed by the San Francisco Unified School District.
  • The loans are forgivable according to the years of service the teacher remains in the school district.
  • To be eligible, a borrower must be a credentialed teacher currently employed by the San Francisco Unified School District, and have a combined household income of no more than 200% of the AMI of SFMA. The loan amount available for TND loans is $20,000.
  • Find out more.

Loan Forgiveness

loans
  • Loan Forgiveness Overview
an icon of a hand holding a dollar sign

Overview

With qualified education loans, you may be eligible for loan forgiveness. If you qualify, loan forgiveness programs can either forgive the balance you owe on loans and/or reduce monthly loan payments while you serve in the classroom. Most loan forgiveness programs require you to teach beyond your two-year commitment as a Teach For America corps member.

Explore Loan Forgiveness Programs

Retail Discounts

retail
  • Retail Discounts Overview
  • Classroom Materials
  • Travel & Destinations
  • Clothing, Technology, & More
an icon of a sale tag

Overview

Teachers are eligible for countless discounts at retailers around the country.

Barnes and Noble

  • Barnes and Noble offers educators 20% off the list price of hardback books and 15% off the list price of soft-cover books. Other non-sale items may also be bought at a discount.
  • Ask for more information and an application at your local Barnes and Noble bookstore.
  • Find out more.

FedEx Office National Educators Discount Program

  • Corps members and alumni can receive 15% off on most products and services at participating FedEx Office locations nationwide.
  • If you are a current corps member or alum, reach out to your local TFA regional office to acquire a regional discount card.
  • Simply present your regional discount card to receive your discount when making a purchase in-store or at online

Half Price Books

  • Half Price Books offers 10% off all purchases all-year for educators.
  • Find out more.

Office Depot, OfficeMax, & Staples

  • Office Depot, OfficeMax, & Staples offer teachers' rewards cards and provide several discounts and benefits to teachers.
  • Find out more.

The New York Times

  • The New York Times offers up to 50% off the normal subscription cost on home delivery of The New York Times for K-12 teachers. To enroll, current subscribers and new subscribers should call 1-800-NY-TIMES.
  • Find out more.

Wiley Publishing

  • Wiley Publishing offers 40% off + free shipping on all Jossey-Bass education titles
  • Find out more.

Enterprise and National Car Rental

  • Enterprise and National Car Rental has extended special discounted pricing to all TFA corps members and alumni for personal-use rentals. Additionally, all corps members and alumni are eligible for a complimentary membership in the Emerald Loyalty Program Club.
  • The Emerald Club is the award winning Loyalty Program that can be used at both National and Enterprise. It provides you with special recognition, service, and speed - whether renting at an airport or in the local market where you live.

Kennedy Space Center

  • Full-time Florida and Georgia educators can receive a free Educator's Study Pass to explore the Kennedy Space Center.
  • To be eligible, educators must possess a valid Florida or Georgia teacher certificate and be currently employed at an accredited school as a full-time K-12 classroom educator. To obtain the pass, educators must present these items to the ticket agents located at the ticket plaza.
  • Find out more.

New England Aquarium

  • Massachusetts Teacher Association (MTA) and Boston Teachers Union (BTU) members receive free admission to the Aquarium and discounted admission to the IMAX Theatre with a MTA/BTU card and a valid photo ID.
  • If you are not a union member but are bringing a class to visit the New England Aquarium, please show your field trip confirmation letter to receive free admission.
  • The gift shop also provides a 10% discount for teachers.
  • Find out more.

SeaWorld Orlando

  • Florida teachers are eligible for a free "Study Pass" that provides unlimited admission to SeaWorld Orlando. The Study Pass is valid for a year of visits to SeaWorld Orlando, from August to August. Parking and other discounts are not included.
  • To be eligible you must have a valid Florida teaching certificate and be employed at an accredited school as a full-time classroom teacher.
  • To receive a Study Pass, present your teaching certificate, a photo ID and your most recent paycheck stub at the Annual Pass Center located at the Main Entrance. Call the Study Pass Hotline at (407) 370-1386 before visiting SeaWorld for more information.
  • Find out more.

STA Travel

  • The International Teacher ID Card (ITIC) is the only internationally-recognized form of proof of your status as a full-time teacher. It gives you access to thousands of discounts here in the U.S. and internationally. It costs $22 and you must purchase the card through STA Travel. With the card, you are eligible for the following discounts:
    • Discount airfare from STA Travel
    • 11% off all flights on JetBlue Airways
    • Up to 50% off parking rates at Park 'n Fly
    • ​Discount admission to the Eiffel Tower
    • Up to 20% off select accommodation in Rome
    • Much more!
  • Find out more.

Ann Taylor Loft

  • Teachers receive a 15% discount off of purchases.
  • Find out more.

Apple

  • Apple offers many discounts for educators, including promotional offers with the purchase of a computer.
  • Find out more.

The Container Store

  • The Container Store is offer teachers a 15% discount. Sign up for their discount card online to take advantage of this offer.
  • Find out more.

Horace Mann Insurance

  • Horace Mann Insurance offers home, auto, and life insurance at discounted rates for teachers across the US.
  • Find out more.

J. Crew

  • Receive an exclusive 15% off every time you shop at J. Crew. This discount is applicable to all regularly priced merchandise at J.Crew retail stores, at jcrew.com, or via phone order.
  • Any merchandise that is sale or clearance-priced and ending in 99 cents will not qualify for the additional 15% price reduction. This offer cannot be combined with any other special discounts or promotions; nor can it be applied to alterations, previous purchases, or to the purchase of gift cards.
  • Find out more.

NYC Department of Education

  • The NYC Department of Education has a complete list of discounts available to New York teachers.
  • Find out more.

Precision Garage Door Service