The Minnesota Teacher Candidate Grant provides post-secondary financial assistance to eligible students enrolled in Minnesota teacher preparation programs during one term in which the student is completing the required 12-week or more student teaching experience.
On a funds available basis, selected undergraduate and graduate students may receive awards up to $7,500. Applicants must intend to work in an identified shortage area and/or belong to a racial or ethnic group underrepresented in the Minnesota teacher workforce to be eligible.
The federal government offers the TEACH Grant program, which provides grants of up to $4,000 per year to students who intend to teach in an elementary or secondary school that serves students from low-income families. In exchange for receiving a TEACH Grant, students must agree to serve as a full-time teacher in a public or private school serving low income students for at least four academic years within eight calendar years of completing the program of study for which they received a TEACH Grant. Learn more about the TEACH grant and apply.
The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program is intended to encourage individuals to enter and continue to work full-time in public service jobs. Under this program, you may qualify for forgiveness of the remaining balance due on your William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans after you have made 120 qualifying payments on those loans while employed full-time by certain public service employers.
The Minnesota Teacher Shortage Student Loan Repayment Program was established to provide student loan repayment assistance to teachers providing classroom instruction in a teacher shortage area in Minnesota. The purpose of the program is to encourage teachers to teach in Minnesota in designated shortage areas. Shortage areas include teacher licensure fields in high demand statewide, geographical regions within the state experiencing teacher shortages and teacher licensure fields in high demand within regions of the state. (See the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for a list of the current shortage areas).
The 2020 Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program Report is now available online:
The report was produced in response to legislation passed in 2015 requiring the Minnesota Office of Higher Education to report annually on the Teacher Shortage Loan Forgiveness Program.
The program is designed to provide student loan debt relief, in the form of repayment awards, to teachers working in shortage areas identified by the Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Education. To better align with the program’s design, the Office of Higher Education refers to this program as the Teacher Shortage Loan Repayment Program.
Pursuant to Minnesota Statutes 136A.1791 Subd. 9, the report must include the number of individuals who received loan repayments awards, the licensure areas and economic development regions in which the teachers taught, the average amount paid to a teacher participating in the program, and other summary data identified by the commissioner as outcome indicators.
General Financial Aid
General Financial Aid includes grants and scholarships (which do not have to be repaid) as well as Federal Student Loans (which do have to be repaid, but may qualify for Loan Forgiveness) and Work Study. You can apply each academic year for financial aid by filling out a Federal Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov.