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Understanding Loan Forgiveness, Grants and Scholarships for Future Teachers

Posted by:
August 26, 2022

You’ve chosen to be a teacher because you want to make real, tangible change in the lives of the next generation.

Your passion for inspiring and educating others is contagious, but we realize that your financial needs could be seen as a challenge as you consider going back to school for a graduate education degree.

Graduate school is an investment, but the professionals at Pacific Lutheran University are here to help you achieve your dreams and encourage others to pursue theirs.

With this in mind, here are a few loan forgiveness programs, grants and scholarships for future teachers.


How to Finance Your Master’s Degree in Education

There are various ways to finance your master’s degree in education — from loans to grants and scholarships. Let’s talk about them.

Loan Forgiveness Programs for Teachers

Loan forgiveness programs are usually based on who, what and where you teach and how you’ve previously handled your loans. Here are some programs PLU suggests for qualifying students:

  • Federal Student Loans: you’ll have to pay these loans back with interest, but you can usually pick a payment plan that works best for your budget. Often, you can appeal to have some of your loans forgiven.
  • Teacher Loan Forgiveness: to qualify for this loan forgiveness program, you need to have taught for five consecutive and complete academic years in low-income schools and have made your loan before the end of those five years of teaching. If you find yourself eligible, this option could forgive up to $17,500 of your student loans!
  • Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program: after you’ve made 120 qualifying payments on your loan, and if you work full-time at a federal, state, local, tribal government or non-profit agency, this program would forgive whatever your remaining balance is.
  • Perkins Loan Cancellation for Teachers: if you teach at a low-income school or teach subjects that are historically low on teachers, this program may forgive up to 100 percent of your Federal Perkins Loans!

Scholarships for Future Teachers and Grants

Scholarships and grants are the ideal way to receive help paying for college since you don’t have to pay them back. PLU has many options to choose from, each explicitly geared towards teachers.

PLU Excellence in Education Graduate Scholarship and The Martinez Foundation Scholarship for New Teachers

These scholarships seek to better support and empower underrepresented students in the graduate programs at PLU and in the classrooms they’ll impact as graduates. The PLU Excellence in Education Graduate Scholarship and the Martinez Foundation scholarships both work to bring education to high-need areas and help eliminate the achievement gap in Washington State by equipping teachers who want to work in less-reached areas.

The Shereen Paff Special Education Scholarship and the Applegate-Jackson-Parks Future Teacher Scholarship

These scholarships honor impactful teachers. The Shereen Paff scholarship honors the memory of Lloyd and LaVerne Paff’s daughter, Shereen, who loved education and spent her career improving education for children. The Applegate-Jackson-Parks scholarship honors three public school teachers from Michigan who lost their jobs because they refused to pay union fees.

PLU Graduate Assistantships and TEACH Grants

Both of these options help students round out their education. The PLU Graduate Assistantship allows students to join in on academic and administrative activities that enrich their overall graduate experience. TEACH grants supply teachers planning to work in high-need, low-income areas with the financial means to finish their degrees.

Culturally Sustaining STEM Teacher Program

The CS-STEM Teacher program provides forgivable loans from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. The program aims to increase the number of teachers prepared to teach in engaging, intellectually and culturally responsive ways; connect STEM content to students’ lives, communities, and the world; and are committed to equitable teaching in high-need schools.

Attend Info Session

Sign up for an info session to see if the MAE program is right for you.

Start Application

Apply for admission to the MAE program to reach your career goals.

Ready to Learn How to Become a Teacher? Connect with PLU!

What can you do with a master’s degree in education?

You can change lives in a variety of atmospheres. A master’s degree is crucial to your success as an educator and will help your job security at any school.

Note: Click here to learn more about the demand for STEM teachers today.

While the financial aspects of pursuing a graduate degree may seem challenging, there are more options for financing your education than you may realize. Let PLU provide you with the proper requirements to change the lives of your students as soon as possible through our programs and financial assistance.

Graduate Education Programs at Pacific Lutheran University

There are three unique graduate tracks in education from PLU, each valued for its high-experience models and its small class sizes. Here are the need-to-know details on each program.

Master of Arts in Education: 1 Year Teaching Certification

  • One year full time program, 12 months coursework, begins each summer in mid-June
  • Supportive cohort model: 25-30 students all taking the same classes and receiving face-to-face support from expert faculty
  • Full-year internship in an elementary or secondary school
  • More than 800 hours in a placement shaped by the student’s desired subject to teach

Master of Arts in Education: Alternative Routes to Certification

  • Ideal for career changers from high-need fields or those with prior experience in schools
  • Students can choose to complete the certification portion only
  • After certification, students have an option to complete the MAE degree in 3 years.
  • Collaborative partnerships with surrounding schools for internship placements

Master of Arts in Education: Non-Certificate Program

  • For international students who do not need teacher certification in Washington State
  • A year-long program with 800 hours of placement in the student’s desired subject
  • Prepares classroom experience in US schools
  • Experienced faculty and school partnerships