U.S. Department of Education Announces Process for TEACH Grant Reconsideration
As the U.S. Department of Education is engaging in negotiated rulemaking on the TEACH grants, the Department announced that it is opening a process for reconsideration of conversion. TEACH grant recipients study to teach in a high-need field and commit to teaching in a high-need school in their chosen field for 4 years. Recipients have an 8-year window in which to complete these 4 years of service. If a TEACH grant recipient does not complete this service, the grant funds received convert to Direct Unsubsidized Federal Loan. For those TEACH grant recipients whose grant(s) were converted to loan(s) and who met or are meeting the TEACH grant service requirements, a reconsideration can be requested.
The Department shares the following on its webpage:
If you met or are meeting the TEACH Grant service requirements within the eight-year service obligation period, but had your grants converted to loans because you did not comply with the annual certification requirement, you can request reconsideration of those conversions.
Given the stories that emerged in 2018 on grant conversion via National Public Radio and other media outlets, scrutiny has fallen on both the Department and the servicer of the TEACH grants, FedLoan. Several lawsuits have emerged as well. This reconsideration process developed as the pressure has mounted to support those teachers who have been erroneously converted.
If you are a TEACH grant recipient, be sure to check your email’s junk/spam folder over the next few weeks in case you have been contacted via an email from firstname.lastname@example.org. Initial outreach from the Department to those recipients whose conversion can be reconsidered will receive an email from this address starting the week of February 4, 2019. You can request a reconsideration even if you do not receive an email.