Last updated: March 19, 2018

On average, teachers affect more than 3,000 students during their career. If we consider the impact of a strong teacher on a students’ social, emotional and educational abilities, the scale of their influence extends so much further than we could tangibly quantify. In a study of U.S. students between the ages of 7 and 15, 83 percent said that a teacher helped boost their self-esteem and confidence, while 79 percent reported having a teacher who encouraged them to follow their dreams. In this way, teachers serve a deeper value than just giving our next generation the tools they need to be successful; teachers inspire our students for greatness beyond the classroom.

If you're working towards a degree with a goal of becoming a teacher, there are hundreds of financial aid and scholarships for teachers that you qualify for. Private institutions and government agencies provide more than just financial support for the aspiring teacher, but the educational support to help you get there.

In her candid blog for new teachers, Elena explains that her number one piece of advice to any educator is to know why you are a teacher. Because, she says, “when the reasons are really strong, teaching is much, much easier.”

“I teach because, for me, it's the most effective and most enjoyable way to change the world. That's the bottom line: We need to change this world, and this is the way I'm choosing to do it. Teaching allows me to work on hearts and minds, to guide people in becoming empowered, literate, engaged, creative, liberated human beings who want to join in this effort to change the world.”
Elena Aguilar

It’s no question that teachers have one of the most important and relevant jobs for making a real impact on our world. For education majors wishing to create change of their own, there are ways to prepare for the classroom before even stepping into one.

How to Qualify to be a Teacher


Higher Education

Aspiring teachers will take classes in human development, child psychology, curriculum design and specific coursework catered to the level at which students wish to teach. This catered curriculum prepares students to become experts at teaching at their desired grade level. Teachers at the post-secondary level are usually required to have a master’s degree or higher.



All prospective teachers must participate in professional fieldwork, which are often included in education degree programs, where students assist in an in-class environment. This helps students practice and gain experience as student teachers.


State Licensing

Certain licensing may not be necessary, especially for private school teachers and will vary by state. However, most state licensing will require a bachelor’s degree, supervised teaching experience and the completion of a teacher education program, to qualify.


Resources for Teachers

Scholastic Top Teaching Blog

This resource is a digital teaching magazine to inspire teachers to push their creativity to new levels, with engaging lesson plans and activities to try in the classroom.


This multimedia tool is a helpful resource for teachers to make interactive posters for students to engage with the lessons they’re learning.

Smithsonian Education:

The Smithsonian offers thousands of resources for educators including lesson plans, virtual tours of latest exhibits, and connect with experts through this site.

Common Core State Standards Initiative

This site offers an overview of the Common Core State Standards, and what teachers can reasonably expect students to learn at all grade levels.

The Education Resources Information Center (ERIC) is an online digital library of education resources and information supported by the United States Department of Education.

Library of Congress Lesson Plans

Using primary sources from the Library of Congress, this database offers teacher created, classroom tested lesson plans for the aspiring educator.


How to Pay for College



There are hundreds of scholarships for education majors, which are awarded by local organizations, private companies, societies and more.



Grants don’t need to be paid back and are based on your financial circumstances. They are usually funded by the federal government, your state or college.



While scholarships usually fund tuition, fellowships typically cover graduate study, research projects and abroad experiences without needing to be paid back.


Student Loans

You can borrow money from the government or a bank, but it needs to be paid back with interest. The federal government offers many loan options—fill out the free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to see if you qualify for financial aid. If you need help, use our interactive guide to learn how to answer every question.


Federal Work-Study Program

Provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to pay education expenses.


If you’re just beginning the process of finding suitable scholarships, make sure you’re prepared for the application process by starting a folder with the assets below.

Scholarship Application Preparation

Not all scholarships are based off of your GPA, but most need to verify your high school education to qualify. Try to get certified copies of your transcript early, so you have plenty of time to meet the deadline.
Although there are scholarship opportunities that aren’t merit-based, it’s valuable to take the SAT or ACT standardized tests in case it’s a scholarship qualification.
Your scholarship essay is what will bring attention to your application out of the pool of applicants. That’s why it’s important to craft a stand out piece that attests to your experience, adheres to the scholarship guidelines and most importantly, highlights your true personality.
Letters of recommendation are a true judgement of your character—something that can’t be revealed through your test scores or transcript. Reach out to former teachers, counselors or bosses, so that they can speak to your qualifications. You may also want to provide them with a resume that outlines your achievements and goals as well.

Scholarships for Teachers

Instructions: Click through the dropdowns below to sort by award amount and if you qualify for need-based aid.

Evalee C. Schwarz Charitable Trust for Education Scholarship

Amount: $15,000

Deadline: April 10, 2018

Student must be a U.S. citizen at the time of application, and qualify for financial need. Must be enrolled in university in the state the student currently resides and maintain standardized test scores in the top 15 percent nationwide. Must not be seeking a law degree.

Burger King Scholars Program

Amount: $1,000-$50,000

Deadline: December 15, 2018

Applicants must have strong academic performance with a minimum GPA of 2.5. Must be passionate about serving the community, and be an employee/spouse/partner of an employee for graduate consideration.

Ron Brown Scholars Program

Amount: $40,000

Deadline: November 1, 2018

African American students in their senior year of high school are eligible for this scholarship program. Students interested in pursuing a degree in education are preferred.

Leon Bradley Scholarship

Amount: $4,000

Deadline: May 31, 2018

Awards support and encourage more minorities and persons of color to work in the field of teaching and school leadership. Applicants must reside in these geographic locations or be currently matriculating at an institution in these states or regions: Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Brunswick, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Pennsylvania, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, D.C. or West Virginia.

AFT Robert G. Porter Scholars Program

Amount: $8,000

Deadline: March 31, 2018

This program offers four-year scholarships to students who are dependents of AFT members. High school seniors with one legal guardian who is an AFT member are eligible to apply. Awards are based on academic achievement, commitment to community service and leadership.

The Hubertus W.V. Willems Scholarship for Male Students

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: March 31, 2018

This scholarship is awarded to students majoring in engineering, chemistry, physics or math. Students pursuing a teaching degree in STEM fields are preferred for this award. NAACP members are highly desirable. Financial need will be considered.

ACS-Hach Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Scholarship

Amount: up to $6,000

Deadline: April 1, 2018

This scholarship is awarded to undergraduate and graduate level students pursuing an education degree with emphasis on teaching science/chemistry. Students must have a bachelor's degree, or be working towards a degree in a chemistry-related discipline. Must be a U.S. citizen and have less than one year work experience.

AFCEA/NSTA STEM Scholarships

Amount: $5,000

Deadline: April 1, 2018

The Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association and the National Science Teachers Association, among other sponsors, offer scholarship awards to all levels of study who intend to teach STEM at the middle or secondary level in the U.S. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher to qualify.

Future Educators Association Prospective Educator Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 1, 2018

This scholarship is available through Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) for high school seniors intending to major in education or college undergraduates pursuing a degree in a teacher education program. Students must be a member of the Future Educators Association, or be a family member of an existing member.

Phi Delta Kappa Prospective Educator Scholarships

Amount: $500-$1,500

Deadline: April 2, 2018

These scholarships are available for high school seniors and undergraduate students associated with either PDK International, Educators Rising, or Pi Lambda Theta. Must demonstrate financial need, and the journey of overcoming adversity.

Jack Kinnaman Scholarship

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 15, 2018

Students who are members of the National Education Association (NEA) are encouraged to apply for this memorial scholarship. One applicant will be selected based on the strength of their submitted essay, and by financial need.

Margret Harvey Memorial Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 15, 2018

Students pursuing a degree in education who hope to build a career working with the blind, or who are legally blind, are encouraged to apply for these scholarships. Students will be reviewed based on letters of recommendation and essay submissions.

Ralph Dillman Memorial Scholarships

Amount: up to $2,400

Deadline: April 15, 2018

Female students pursuing a degree in education who hope to build a career working with the blind, or who are legally blind, are encouraged to apply for these scholarships. Students will be reviewed based on letters of recommendation and essay submissions.

Tobin Sorenson Physical Education Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 16, 2018

This non-renewable scholarship provides support for tuition to an outstanding student who intends to pursue a career at the K-12 level as a physical education teacher, adaptive physical education teacher, coach, recreational therapist, dance therapist, or similar professional focusing on teaching the knowledge and use of the human body. Awarded in odd years only. Minimum 3.5 GPA required.

Teachers Make Teachers Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: April 28, 2018

High school seniors pursuing an undergraduate degree focused on education may apply for this scholarship. Must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

AASEA Memorial Scholarships

Amount: $2,000

Deadline: April 30, 2018

These scholarships are awarded for undergraduate students pursuing a degree in education, with special consideration to students hoping to work with children with special needs.

Alexis Kate Special Education Teacher Scholarship

Amount: $500

Deadline: April 30, 2018

Each year, this scholarship chooses one sophomore or junior college student that demonstrates a commitment to working with children with autism.

Thurgood Marshall College Fund

Amount: up to $6,000

Deadline: May 1, 2018

This scholarship award supports students who attend an HBCU pursuing a degree in education. Awards are based on financial need, and merit. Students must have a 3.0 GPA and strong commitment to service to qualify.

Zell Family Scholarship Fund

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: May 1, 2018

This scholarship fund is in memory of the Zell Family, who awards two aspiring Montessori education students with this award. Applicants are considered on a financial need, a personal statement, and acceptance into the AMS-affiliated program.

Prospective Middle School Mathematics Teacher Coursework Scholarships

Amount: $3,000

Deadline: May 4, 2018

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics offer a scholarship to one qualified full-time college junior working towards their degree teaching middle school mathematics. Applicants will be reviewed based on their proposal, essay, budget, background, and experience.

NAAE “Teachers Turn the Key” Scholarship

Amount: Varies

Deadline: May 15, 2018

The NAAE sponsored scholarship are awarded to members who have less than four years of teaching at the time of application. Students pursuing agricultural education are prefered.

National Geographic Learning + NAAE Upper Division Scholarship

Amount: $750

Deadline: May 15, 2018

National Geographic and Cengage Learning offer a scholarship award to students pursuing agricultural education with the intent to teach. Prior recipients of NAAE awards are not eligible. Sign up with NAAE to learn more about eligibility and resources available.

Suzuki Association of the Americas Scholarship

Amount: $300-$500

Deadline: May 31, 2018

This scholarship award is dedicated to students pursuing teaching music to children. Students interested in the Shinichi Suzuki Method are encouraged. Must be a member of SAA to apply. Financial need will be considered.

Future Journalism Teacher Scholarships

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: July 15, 2018

These scholarships are given to three students who demonstrate a desire to teach journalism at the high school level. Applicants will be reviewed based on the essay and recommendation submissions.

Fulbright Scholar Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: August 1, 2018

The Fulbright Scholar Program offers teaching and research awards to students in the U.S. at the undergraduate and graduate level. Opportunities are open to people regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, geographic location, etc. Employees and immediate family members affiliated with the U.S. Department of State are ineligible to apply. See site for details.

USRA Scholarship Awards

Amount: Varies

Deadline: August 9, 2018

These USRA scholarships are awarded to students pursuing degrees in science education related fields. Must be within the first two years of associated degree program, and applicants will be reviewed based on letters of recommendation and essays pertaining to students study of interest.

Bill Kane Scholarships

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: October 15, 2018

This award is distributed annually to one undergraduate student studying health education in a U.S. university. Must be enrolled full-time at an accredited institution to apply.

Horatio Alger Scholarship

Amount: $25,000

Deadline: October 25, 2018

This program provides funding to institutions of higher education to provide scholarships, stipends, and programmatic support to recruit and prepare STEM majors and professionals to become K-12 teachers. Partnered with AAAS, this stipend requires a minimum of two years of teaching in high-need school districts upon acceptance.

Barbara Lotze Scholarship

Amount: up to $2,000

Deadline: December 1, 2018

These renewable scholarships, supported by an endowment funded by Barbara Lotze, are available only to U.S. citizens attending U.S. schools. Must demonstrate undergraduate status, with good academic standing and dedication to the pursuit of a teaching career in the physics field. U.S. citizens only.

Barbara Lotze Scholarships for Future Teachers

Amount: up to $2,000

Deadline: December 1, 2018

This renewable scholarship applies to undergraduate students enrolled, or planning to enroll, in physics teacher preparation curricula and high school seniors. Must be a U.S. citizen.

Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: December 1, 2018

This scholarship supports high school seniors who are interested in a career in service, like teaching. Applicants must be nominated by their high school principal and have a GPA of 2.8 or higher to qualify.

Litherland/FTEE Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: December 1, 2018

This scholarship is for one undergraduate student majoring in engineering education and must have a GPA of 2.5 or higher.

NAEA Art Educator Scholarship

Amount: $1,100

Deadline: December 31, 2018

This national scholarship opportunity is for students pursuing a teaching degree for art related fields. The funds from this scholarship are to cover the costs of the NAEA convention, as well as travel stipends. Must be a member of NAEA and be working towards their art teaching career to apply.

The Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarship

Amount: $1,000

Deadline: December 31, 2018

Undergraduate and graduate students majoring in education are eligible for this scholarship. Students affiliated with the National Institute for Labor Relations Research, National Right to Work Committee, and members of the Selection Review Committee and their families are not eligible.

Bright Futures Scholarship for Early Childhood Teachers

Amount: $1,000


Students hoping to pursue a degree in early childhood education are eligible for this award. Must be pursuing an undergraduate or masters degree to apply.

Inspire Our Future Scholarship

Amount: $500


Students pursuing teaching and enrolled full-time in an accredited university are eligible for this award. Must have a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and submit an essay to apply.

Math for America Fellowship Programs

Amount: up to $100,000


Math for America offers fellowship programs for college graduates working towards teaching math in secondary schools. Each fellowship is limited to 2-6 participating cities, offering stipends over the course of 5 years. Sign up with the MFA to learn more about this fellowship opportunity.

Nancy Larson Foundation College Scholarship

Amount: Varies


The Nancy Larson Foundation is proud to sponsor scholarships for college students studying to become elementary school teachers. Undergraduates in their junior year of study and beyond are welcome to apply.


Amount: up to $4,000


A TEACH grant can help you pay for college if you plan to become a teacher in a low-income area. This federally funded aid applies to students working in a high-demand field, in elementary schools, and students requiring financial assistance.

The Lillian and Samuel Sutton Education Scholarship

Amount: $2,000


Education majors enrolled full-time at an accredited university are eligible for this scholarship. Membership to NAACP is preferred, but not required. Must maintain a 3.0 GPA or higher to qualify.

The Vildeus Jules Jean Baptiste Service Award and Scholarship

Amount: Varies


The core mission of the Lighthouse LANDS Project is to overcome hunger and poverty through education and empowerment of women and children. Students requiring financial need and are enrolled in a full-time institution may apply.

Woodrow Wilson MBA Fellowship in Education Leadership

Amount: $50,000


This fellowship foundation offers qualified candidates tuition towards an MBA program, and seeks to prepare leaders who can bring world-class levels of performance to U.S. schools and prepare education leaders. See site for participating states and universities.

STEM Teacher Graduate Scholarships

Amount: up to $5,000

Deadline: April 13, 2018

Graduate students pursuing a teaching career in STEM related fields are encouraged to apply for this award. Must maintain a GPA of 3.5 or higher, and have completed a B.S. in STEM to apply.

Alba George Watt Memorial Essay Contest

Amount: $250

Deadline: July 1, 2018

This annual essay competition seeks students who can produce an original, research driven presentation under 12,000 words. Submissions may be in English or Spanish.

Ford Foundation Fellowship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: December 14, 2018

Applicants for this award must be a U.S. citizen with evidence of superior academic achievement to apply. Students pursuing a teaching career at the university level are preferred.

Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program

Amount: Varies

Deadline: August 28, 2018

The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program awards scholarships to women who desire to teach science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) at the K-12 level.