Teach Iowa Scholar Program

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To Be Eligible …

The Teach Iowa Scholar (TIS) Program provides qualified Iowa teachers with awards of up to $4,000 a year, for a maximum of five years, for teaching in Iowa schools in designated shortage areas. Qualified teachers are those currently teaching in designated shortage areas who meet all of the eligibility criteria below.

An applicant must:

  • Graduate from a teacher preparation program on/after January 1, 2013 (including undergraduate, masters or intern programs)
    • Only teachers who complete a bachelor’s or master’s teacher preparation program on/after January 1, 2013, are eligible; completing coursework to add an endorsement to your teaching license does not qualify.
  • Graduate in the top 25% academically of all teacher preparation program graduates during the academic year in which you graduated. ‘Top 25% academically’ is defined and certified by the college/university from which you graduated.
  • Secure full-time employment for the 2017-18 school year in a designated shortage area at a school district, area education agency, charter school, or accredited nonpublic school recognized and approved by the Iowa Department of Education.
  • Have an Iowa teaching license and the corresponding endorsement of the shortage area in which you teach.
  • Submit the TIS application by November
  • Teaching assignment code must be an eligible BEDS code.

An eligible applicant can receive up to $4,000 per year for up to 5 consecutive years of full-time employment.The $4,000 award can be disbursed in one of two ways:

  • Sent to your lender as a lump-sum payment toward your outstanding federal student loan balance, or
  • Sent as a lump-sum payment to you. Payments issued to individuals are considered taxable income and the State of Iowa will issue a 1099 MISC to you for tax filing purposes.*
    *You may want to consider the Pay Me option if you are trying to qualify for any other loan forgiveness program.
Designated Shortage Areas

The following fields have been designated by the Iowa Department of Education as shortages in Iowa for the 2017-2018 school year. Teachers who teach in these areas and whose license has the required endorsement can qualify for TIS awards.  The chart below lists the designated shortage areas in order from highest need to lowest need which factors into Awarding Priority.

Rank Required Endorsement Number Endorsement Title Grade Level(s)
1 266 Itinerant Hearing Impaired Birth to 21
2 267 Itinerant Visually Impaired Birth to 21
3 140 Industrial Technology 5-12
4 139 Family and Consumer Sciences 5-12
5 108, 109, 174 Teacher Librarian K-12
6 107 Talented & Gifted K-12
7 263 Instructional Strategist II BD/LD K-12
8 264 Instructional Strategist II MD K-12
9 265 Instructional Strategist II PD K-12
10 104 English as a Second Language K-12
11 260 Instructional Strategist 1 Mild/Moderate K-8
12 100 Special Education (serving in Spec Ed or Early Childhood inclusive classrooms only) PreK-3
13 261 Instructional Strategist I Mild/Moderate 5-12
14 112 Agriculture 5-12
15 262 Early childhood Special Education PreK-K
16 156 Physics 5-12
17 185 All Science 5-12
18 121-136, 177-180, 187, 188 Foreign Language (all) K-12
19 143 Mathematics 5-12
20 1541 Basic Science 5-12
21 1171 Business 5-12
License and Endorsements

Teachers with the following license types will be considered for TIS awards:

  • Initial
  • Standard
  • Master Educators
  • Class E
  • Administrative Decision
  • Regional Exchange
  • Class B/Conditional
  • Initial Professional Service
  • Professional Service

The teacher’s license must have the required endorsement corresponding to the shortage area in which they teach.

Awarding Priority

In the event we have more applicants than we can fund, applications will be prioritized according to:

  1. Teachers renewing their TIS award
  2. New applicants will then be prioritized by:
  1. Graduation date, grouped by academic year, with the most recent academic year graduates given priority;
  2. Prioritized annual ranking of eligible teaching fields by the department, with highest ranking fields being served first; (see Designated Shortage Areas chart above)
  3. Prioritized annual ranking of regional need within eligible teaching fields by the department, with the highest ranking regions being served first within each ranked eligible teaching field, if information is available;
  4. Iowa resident status;
  5. Date of application
Loans That Qualify
  • Stafford loans
  • Grad PLUS loans
  • Perkins loans
  • Consolidation loans
  • Private student loans
  • State loans
  • Institutional loans
Next Steps

You can find the application online.

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