Ongoing Aid for Teachers

Benefits & Discounts

Teach For America corps members and alumni are eligible for several financial benefits and discounts. Partnerships with AmeriCorps, various graduate schools, education-related companies, and private retailers enable corps members and alumni to take advantage of these incentives. We are committed to making Teach For America a financially viable option for everyone.

Click on a category below to learn more about the benefits and discounts available. Find everything from teaching scholarships to housing support to discounts on classroom materials. Visit our Grad School & Employer Benefits page for additional benefits available to corps members and alumni.

AmeriCorps Benefits

  • Overview
  • Education Awards
  • Loan Forebearance
  • Interest Payments
AmeriCorps Aid

Overview

During one or both years that you are a corps member, you may be eligible to enroll as a member of AmeriCorps. To qualify for AmeriCorps 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, we cannot guarantee these benefits to any corps member.

Education Awards

After each successful year as an AmeriCorps member, you may receive an education award of up to $5,730.

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

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 the full details of the AmeriCorps education award.

*Those who have already served in an AmeriCorps program and earned previous education awards may be ineligible to receive 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 Forebearance

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, grad 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.

Please 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
  • Overview
  • National Programs
  • State-Specific Programs
Scholarships

Overview

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

Be sure to read all requirements and conditions on each program's website, and reach out to the specific program for more information.

101 Scholarships Just For Teachers

  • The 101 Scholarships Just For Teachers website offers a tremendous amount of information for teachers looking to apply for scholarships.
  • Find out more.

Children For Children: Teacher's Aid Program

  • Children For Children's Teachers' Aid Program (TAP) recognizes dedicated teachers serving severely under-resourced communities by awarding them grants. Grants typically range from a few hundred dollars up to $1,500.
  • There is no deadline, so teachers may apply at any time.
  • Find out more.

Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program

  • For U.S. teachers, the Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program involves a year, semester, or six-week long direct exchange of teaching positions with a counterpart in another country teaching the same subject and level.
  • Fulbright program staff in the U.S. and abroad match U.S. and overseas candidates in the spring of each year. Fulbright staff then propose matched-exchanges that each candidate and each school involved in the application process must approve before final selection to the program takes place.
  • Find out more.

Kids In Need Foundation: Kids In Need Teacher Grants

  • Kids In Need Teacher Grants provide K-12 educators with funding to finance creative classroom projects.
  • The awards range from $100 to $500 each, and 200-300 grants are typically awarded each year. The number of grants awarded varies from year to year, depending on the amount of the funds being requested.
  • Find out more.

Philanthropic Ventures Foundation: Teacher Resource Grants

  • Teacher Resource Grants provide funding to teachers who need additional resources for classroom materials, projects, and field trips.
  • Teachers must send their one-page requests to Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. They can expect to receive a response within 48 hours. More than 6,800 teachers have received them to date.
  • Teacher Resource Grants focus on enhancing conservation science, arts, and special education projects.
  • Find out more.

Rockefeller Brothers Fund

  • The Rockefeller Brothers Fund provides fellowships to support undergraduate students who wish to pursue Master's in Education while teaching in public elementary or secondary schools.
  • Full-time undergraduate students of color in their junior year of study in the arts and sciences are eligible to apply through 27 participating colleges and universities.
  • Find out more.

Target Field Trip Grant

  • The Target Field Trip Grant program awards grants for teachers to use on educational field trip expenses.
  • Target has awarded 7,400 grants, totaling over $6 million, to educators in all 50 states. More than 729,000 students have explored the world outside the classroom with a Target Field Trip Grant.
  • Target will award 5,000 grants of up to $800 each for the upcoming school year.
  • Find out more.

TEACH Grant

  • The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in a public or private elementary or secondary schools that serve students from low-income families.
  • As a recipient of a 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 a TEACH Grant.
  • You must be enrolled as an undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, or graduate student in a postsecondary educational institution that participates in the TEACH Grant Program.
  • Find out more.

Teacher Advancement Program (TAP) Founder's Award

  • Established in 2008, The TAP Founder's Award will be awarded each year to a school demonstrating exceptional implementation of the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP).
  • Created by TAP Founder Lowell Milken and funded by the Lowell Milken Family Foundation, the Award comes with a $50,000 cash prize for the school to use to help achieve its TAP goals in subsequent school years.
  • TAP Founder's Award recipients are selected without their knowledge by the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching.
  • Find out more.

The Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship Program

  • This program offers elementary and secondary mathematics, technology, and science classroom teachers with demonstrated excellence in teaching an opportunity to serve in the national public policy arena.
  • Fellows provide practical insight in establishing and operating education programs.
  • Fellowships increase understanding and cooperation between the legislative and executive branches and the science, mathematics, and technology education community.
  • Find out more.

Toyota International Teacher Program

  • The Toyota International Teacher Programs are fully-funded international professional development opportunities for educators; which advance a commitment to environmental stewardship through the teaching of interdisciplinary, solution-centered approaches to environmental issues.
  • All teachers of grades 6-12 who have been teaching for at least 3 years are eligible. Educators of all subjects and school types are encouraged to apply.
  • Educators are selected through a competitive application process and are expected to implement projects in their classrooms upon their return.
  • Find out more.

Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers

  • The Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Science Teachers program offers grants to K–12 science teachers for innovative projects that enhance science education in the school or school district.
  • 50 large grants and a minimum of 20 mini-grants, totaling $550,000 in all, will be awarded this year.
  • The program is open to middle and high school science teachers residing within the 50 United States and to elementary teachers who teach some science in the classroom.
  • Find out more.

Troops to Teachers

  • The Troops to Teachers program is designed to assist separating or retiring military personnel in pursuing a career in public education (elementary, secondary or vocational). It is available in a variety of states.
  • Troops to Teachers will reimburse the costs incurred to earn a teaching credential up to a maximum of $5,000. In return for this assistance, the participant agrees to teach for three years in an economically disadvantaged school district.
  • In California, a participant will receive a bonus of $10,000 to teach for three years in a school where 50% or more of the student body are eligible for free or reduced cost lunch programs. Find out more about the California program.
  • Find out more about the Georgia Program.
  • Find out more about the Texas Program.

US Department of Education: Teaching Ambassador Fellowship

  • The Teaching Ambassador Fellowship offers two separate year-long tracks: Washington Fellows and Classroom Fellows.
  • Washington Fellows serve as paid full-time federal employees in Washington, DC for one school year; and are placed in positions within the Department of Education to work on education policy development.
  • Classroom Fellows serve their regular teaching contracts with their districts, and are paid to perform additional Fellowship duties for the Department of Education for one school year.
  • As practicing classroom teachers, these Fellows share an important perspective for education policy and program development. Both fellowships require teaching experience.
  • Find out more.

US Department of Education: Teaching American History Grant

  • The Teaching American History Grant is designed to improve student achievement by enhancing teachers' knowledge of traditional American history through intensive ongoing professional development.
  • Grants fund projects for up to five years, and grantees must partner with one or more organizations that have extensive knowledge of American history (i.e. libraries, museums, nonprofit history or humanities organizations, etc).
  • Local Education Agencies (LEAs) must apply in partnership with one or more of the following: institutions of higher education, nonprofit history or humanities organizations, libraries, or museums.
  • Find out more.

Hawaii Retention Bonuses

  • The Hawaii Department of Education offers many bonuses and incentives for teachers specializing in specific subject areas or teaching in high-need districts.
  • There are financial incentives offered for both mainland and Hawaii certified teachers.
  • Find out more.

Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver

  • The Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver (SETTW) Program encourages current teachers (not certified in a special education discipline) and academically talented students to pursue careers as nonprofit Illinois public, private or parochial preschool, elementary or secondary school teachers in any area of Special Education.
  • The Illinois SETTW exempts recipients from the payment of tuition and mandatory fees for up to four calendar years at any one of the 12 public four-year colleges in Illinois.
  • Certified teachers who receive an approval through their school district to teach in a special education discipline are considered to be seeking initial certification and may apply for this waiver.
  • Find out more.

Maryland HOPE Scholarship for Teachers

  • The Maryland HOPE Scholarship provides awards to graduate students who seek to become classroom teachers. Students at 2-year colleges are eligible for $2,000 annually and students at 4-year colleges are eligible for $5,000 annually.
  • To request an application, visit the Maryland Higher Education Commission web site at www.mhec.state.md.us.
  • Find out more.

New York Teachers of Tomorrow

  • The Teachers of Tomorrow (TOT) program is designed to recruit and sustain well-prepared, highly motivated certified classroom teachers who serve in schools which have been designated as high-need.
  • The TOT incentive program provides tax-free grants to teachers who dedicate themselves to the students in these schools.
  • Teachers employed with NYC public schools could qualify for awards of up to $3,400 annually for a maximum of four consecutive school years.
  • Find out more.

Teach Maryland Incentives

  • Maryland has multiple financial incentive programs, including:
    • National Board Certification: A stipend of up to $2,000 a year is available as a dollar-for-dollar match to local school systems for teachers who earn certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
    • Reconstitution/Reconstitution-Eligible/Challenge School Stipend: A $2,000 stipend is available for classroom teachers who hold an Advanced Professional Certificate and work in schools identified by the State Board of Education as challenge, reconstitution-eligible, or reconstituted schools. Teachers must also have a satisfactory performance rating.
  • All Maryland teachers are eligible for an annual $1,500 tuition tax credit designed to offset graduate tuition expenses necessary to maintain teaching certification.
  • Find out more.

Texas Teacher Quality Grant Program

  • The Teacher Quality Grants Program (TQGP) provides grants to higher education institutions to promote improved instruction in mathematics and science for Texas school children by providing professional development for their teachers.
  • The TQGP makes awards through a competitive review process with the most highly ranked and recommended projects being selected for funding.
  • The grants are distributed to the areas of greatest need for teacher professional development in Texas.
  • Find out more.

Virginia Tuition Assistance for Early Childhood Special Educators

  • The Virginia Tuition Assistance Program for Early Childhood Special Educators provides tuition reimbursement for full time paraprofessionals working in early childhood special education programs while enrolled in undergraduate or graduate courses related to special education areas.
  • Early childhood special educators teaching children in preschool special education programs are also eligible.
  • Find out more.

Housing Assistance

  • Overview
  • Programs
Housing Discounts

Overview

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

Additionally, our regional team members can provide housing suggestions and assistance if you are relocating for the corps. We encourage you to 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

  • Overview
  • Programs
Loan Forgivness Programs

Overview

Corps members and alumni with qualified education loans 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. 

Please note that most forgiveness programs require you to serve in the classroom beyond the two-year commitment you make for Teach For America. Be sure to read all requirements and conditions of each program, and reach out to your loan provider and the forgiveness program for more information.

Income Based Repayment Plan

  • Income Based Repayment (IBR) is a repayment plan for federal loans made to students. Under IBR, your required monthly payment is capped at an amount that is intended to be affordable based on your income and family size.
  • You may enter IBR if your federal student loan debt is high relative to your income and family size. The loans can be new or old and for any type of education (undergraduate, graduate, professional, or job training). 
  • Any Stafford, Grad PLUS, or Consolidation Loan made under either the Direct Loan or FFEL program is eligible for repayment under IBR, except loans that are currently in default, parent PLUS Loans, or consolidation loans that repay a parent PLUS Loan.
  • Find out more.

Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

  • Under the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, borrowers may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on their eligible federal student loans. You are eligible only after you have made 120 payments on loans under certain repayment plans while employed full time by certain public service employers.
  • Borrowers must make 120 monthly payments on their eligible federal student loans beginning after October 1, 2007 before they qualify for the loan forgiveness. Therefore, the first cancelations of loan balances will not be granted until October 2017.
  • Any non-defaulted loan made under the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program is eligible for loan forgiveness. Although loan forgiveness under this program is available only for loans made and repaid under the Direct Loan Program, loans made under other federal student loan programs may qualify for forgiveness if they are consolidated into a Direct Consolidation Loan.
  • Find out more.

Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program for Teachers

  • Under the Stafford Loan Forgiveness Program, individuals who teach full-time for five consecutive, complete academic years in certain elementary and secondary schools that serve low-income families, and meet other qualifications may be eligible for forgiveness of up to a combined total of $17,500 in principal and interest on their FFEL and/or Direct Loan program loans.
  • In order to be eligible, you must submit your completed application to the chief administrative officer at your school, to certify that you have taught full-time for five consecutive years at that school.
  • Find out more.

The National Defense Education Act: Perkins Loan Forgiveness

  • Full-time teachers in elementary or secondary schools that serve students from low-income families can have a portion of their Perkins Loan forgiven under The National Defense Education Act.
  • This program forgives 15% of your loan for the first and second years of teaching, 20% for the third and fourth, and 30% for the fifth.
  • Contact your school district's administration to find out if your school qualifies for this program.
  • Find out more.

Retail Discounts

  • Overview
  • Classroom Materials
  • Travel & Destinations
  • Clothing, Technology, & More
Retail Discounts

Overview

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

In addition to the discounts listed on this page, we encourage you to check out TeacherPop.org, our blog with tips for new teachers. We regularly post deals and discounts that you can take advantage of. Read more! 

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