Top 25 undergraduate teaching scholarships
Interested in a teaching career? Browse our list to see how you can reduce your student debt.
If you’re considering a career in education, chances are you’d prefer to focus on your goals of becoming an educator — and not on how you’ll repay student loans. Student loan debt among Americans has piled up to a whopping $1.44 trillion, according the Federal Reserve.
To help lighten the debt taken on by our future educators, we researched teaching scholarships through more than 300 corporations, colleges and nonprofits across the US to pool together our list of the top 25.
|Major||Sponsor||Name||Amount||Renewable?||Who’s it for||Link|
|Education||Illinois Student Assistance Commission||Illinois Special Education Teacher Tuition Waiver Program||Full Tuition||No||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education/Other||Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation||Harry S. Truman Scholars Program||$30,000||No||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||University of Alaska||Teach for Alaska||$12,000||No||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||Education.com||Education.com Scholarship Program||$10,000||Yes||Undergrad/Grad||Learn more|
|Education||Troops to Teachers||Troops to Teachers||$10,000||No||Armed Forces||Learn more|
|Education||American Federation of Teachers||AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program||$8,000||No||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||University of Texas||Charles Butt Scholarship for Aspiring Teachers||$8,000||Yes||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||Indiana Commission for Higher Education||Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship||$7,500||Yes||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||Indiana University Bloomington||Next Generation Teacher Scholarships||$7,500||Yes||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||East Carolina University||College of Education Scholarship||$7,000||No||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||New Hanover County Board of Education||New Hanover County Board of Education Student Scholarships for Future Teachers||$7,000||Yes||Undergrad|
|Education||American Chemical Society||ACS-Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarship||$6,000||No||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||Grand Valley State University||PNC Early Childhood Education Scholarship||$6,000||Yes||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||University of Houston||UH-Life Noyce Scholarship for Future STEM Teachers||$6,000||No||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||Elon University||Elon Teaching Fellows||$5,500||Yes||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||Connecticut Office of Higher Education||Connecticut Minority Teacher Incentive Grant||$5,000||Yes||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||College Foundation of West Virginia||Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship Program||$5,000||Yes||Undergrad/Grad||Learn more|
|Education||Southern Connecticut State University||Alma Exley Scholarship Program||$5,000||Yes||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||Azusa Pacific University||Marvin O. Johnson Scholarship||$5,000||Yes||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||Scottsdale Charros||Scottsdale Charros Future Teacher Scholarship||$5,000||No||Undergrad||Learn more|
|Education||Massachusetts Department of Higher Education||Early Childhood Educators Scholarship Program||$4,500||Yes||Undergrad||Learn more|
*In November 2018, we manually compiled online data on scholarships offered by more than 300 corporations, colleges and other nonprofits, ranking them by aid value.
Ask the experts…
The biggest misconception people have is that they need to apply to hundreds of small private scholarships. The reality is that most private scholarships are very small compared to the financial aid and scholarships that colleges can give. Many college scholarships don’t even require a separate application so it’s worth spending some of your time investigating those as opposed to the private scholarships.
As you begin your college search and put together a college list, you should try to estimate what the likely price of your top schools will be (including financial aid and scholarships) and see if there’s a gap between those prices and what you can pay. As soon as you have a preliminary list you should know what money you’ll need – and this will help you understand what additional scholarships would be helpful. Then you can start applying. Never pay money to apply to a scholarship; if it’s a money-making scheme, it’s likely not trustworthy!
Students tend to think that scholarships only apply to those who have the very best grades or athletic achievements. They can get put off even applying to scholarships because of this. In reality, there are millions of dollars available to students from community foundations, memorial funds, and businesses, which are looking for students from all kinds of backgrounds, regardless of their academics. These scholarships are looking for students who share their backgrounds, values or interests, or who simply have a great story and desire to further their education.
While scholarships have deadlines throughout the year, there’s a peak season from January to April. However, we always advise students to be looking for scholarships all through the year as the ones with deadlines outside of peak season will receive fewer applications. We encourage students to set a regular reminder to check what scholarships they are eligible for – this way they may unearth a gem that nobody else has seen.
The most important rule is to never ever pay an application fee for a scholarship, no matter how small the amount. As part of this, avoid any site that guarantees that you will win scholarships – that’s just not possible with legitimate scholarships. We usually tell students if it doesn’t seem right, move on. Look for secure websites with https in front of them and try to find an aggregator of scholarships, like Going Merry, that screens all of their scholarships before adding them to the site.
Many students look for scholarships that offer big awards but those are also the most competitive. Scholarships with smaller awards are easier to obtain because fewer students are competing for them. These scholarships can help with college costs such as books and living expenses. Treat applying for scholarships as a part-time job. Organize your free time and try to work on submitting one scholarship application every week and more during weekends. Remember if you spend 100 hours on submitting applications and win scholarships for $10,000 that is a really good part-time job!
The earlier you apply the better. Most students wait until the deadline date to apply. Applying early gives your application a chance to be seen and create a good impression before all the other applications are received. Also remember to follow the application instructions exactly. If the organization asks you to mail the application, don’t try to email it and if there is a maximum word count for an essay or answer, don’t go over it. Most scholarship providers receive more qualified applications than available funds so don’t increase your chances of being disqualified because you didn’t follow their instructions.
Protect your data. Never reveal financial information such as your social security number, credit card numbers, checking information or bank account numbers to apply for scholarships. Scholarship scammers could use this information to commit identity theft.
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Chelsea Gregori, Public Relations Specialist
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