Federal Pell Grants are available to undergraduate students based on financial need. Individual awards are determined based on federal formula. Payment is calculated for full-time enrollment (12 or more hours per semester), three-quarter-time enrollment (9-11 hours per semester), or half-time enrollment (6-8 hours per semester). Students enrolled less than half-time may also be eligible.
To be considered for a Federal Pell Grant, the results of your valid aid applications (FASFA) must be received while you are still enrolled; other documentation may also be required.
Students enrolled in summer courses may be entitled to Federal Pell Grant funds for that enrollment. Students with prior baccalaureate degrees are not eligible. There is a 6 year limit on funding per individual.
Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG) are available to students who show exceptional financial need and, normally, who are eligible for a Federal Pell Grant. These grants are partially federally funded, but awarding is controlled by the University.
Priority is given to students who file a FAFSA by June 1 and list Buena Vista University on the application. Limited funding will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
The Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program provides up to $4,000 per year in grants for graduate and undergraduate students to students who intend to teach full-time in high-need subject areas for at least four years at schools that serve students from low-income families.
Graduate students are also eligible for $4,000 per year ($8,000 total). Students may receive up to $16,000 for undergraduate study and up to $8,000 for graduate study. Part-time students are eligible, but the maximum grant will be reduced. Students in the post-baccalaureate program are not eligible for a TEACH Grant.
If you fail to complete the four year teaching obligation you will have to repay the grant with interest. Please see a repayment chart to determine what your payments would be if you don't maintain eligibility for the grant. Interest will be charged from the date of disbursement if you do not fulfill the requirements as described.
Student Eligibility Requirements
To receive a TEACH Grant you must:
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) before the yearly deadline, although you do not have to demonstrate financial need.
- Meet the eligibility requirements for federal student aid.
- Be enrolled in a program of study designated as TEACH Grant-eligible. Eligible programs are those that prepare a student to teach in a high-need area. For example, a bachelor's program with a math major could qualify for a student who intends to be a math teacher.
- Meet one of the following academic achievement requirements
- Score above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test (e.g. SAT, ACT, GRE, or
- Graduate from high school with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) to receive a grant as a freshman, or
- Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 (on a 4.0 scale) on your college coursework to receive a grant for each subsequent term. (A transfer student's cumulative college GPA will be used to determine initial eligibility. Renewal will be based on a cumulative BVU GPA.). There is no grade point requirement for students who are current teachers or retirees from another occupation with expertise in a high-need field who are seeking a Master's Degree, as well as current or former teachers who are completing a high-quality alternative certification, such as Teach for America.
- Complete TEACH Grant counseling
- Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and respond to requests by the U.S. Department of Education confirming your continuing intention to meet the teaching obligation.
TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay
Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay (service agreement) that will be available electronically on a Department of Education Web site. The TEACH Grant service agreement specifies the conditions under which the grant will be awarded, the teaching service requirements, and includes an acknowledgment by you that you understand that if you do not meet the teaching service requirements you must repay the grant as a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan, with interest accrued from the date the grant funds were first disbursed.
To avoid repaying the TEACH Grant with interest you must be a highly-qualified, full-time teacher in a high-need subject area for at least four years at a school serving low-income students. You must complete the four years of teaching within eight years of finishing the program for which you received the grant. You incur a four-year teaching obligation for each educational program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, although you may work off multiple four-year obligations simultaneously under certain circumstances. Specific definitions of these terms are included below.
You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher, which is defined in federal law.
You must meet the state's definition of a full time teacher and spend the majority (at least 51 percent) of your time teaching one of the high-need subject areas. Elementary teachers who teach many subjects would not be able to fulfill their service agreement.
High-Need Subject Areas, as we understand
- Bilingual Education and English Language Acquisition
- Foreign Language
- Reading Specialist
- Special Education
- Other teacher shortage areas listed in the Department of Education's Annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing.
Schools Serving Low-Income Students
Schools serving low-income students include any elementary or secondary school that is listed in the Department of Education's Annual Directory of Designated Low-Income Schools for Teacher Cancellation Benefits.
You must respond promptly to any requests for information or documentation from the U.S. Department of Education, even if they seem repetitive. These requests will be sent to you while you are still in school as well as once you are out of school. You will be asked regularly to confirm that you either still intend to teach or that you are teaching as required. You must provide documentation to the U.S. Department of Education at the end of each year of teaching.
If you temporarily cease enrollment in your program of study or if you encounter situations that affect your ability to begin or continue teaching, you will need to stay in touch with the U.S. Department of Education to avoid your grants being converted to loans before you are able to complete your teaching obligation.
Failure to complete the teaching obligation, respond to requests for information, or properly document your teaching service will cause the TEACH Grant to be permanently converted to a loan with interest.
Once a grant is converted to a loan it can't be converted back to a grant.
For More Information
For more information about pursuing a TEACH Grant-eligible program, contact the Registrar's Office.
For more information about receiving a TEACH Grant, contact the Office of Financial Assistance.
BVU Process to Receive Funding
These steps must be completed each year you would like to be considered for the grant.
- Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid
- Check your academic information to ensure you are eligible
- Complete the Undergraduate career plans form or the Graduate career plans form letting us know what you plan to teach and that you have carefully read through the informational provided here and that you have carefully considered whether or not to pursue a TEACH Grant.
- Complete a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve
- Complete the online TEACH Grant counseling
A state-funded program for Iowans who:
- Have at least half of the credits completed and accepted toward an eligible program at an eligible school
- Have not been enrolled in postsecondary education for two or more years
- Have applied for all other available aid
Iowa National Guard Educational Grants are available to Iowa residents who are members of an Iowa Army or Air National Guard unit while enrolled in higher education. The individual award amount will not exceed the average tuition rate for full-time students at Iowa Regents Universities.
Iowa Tuition Grants (ITG) are available to eligible residents of Iowa attending private institutions. Iowa Tuition Grants are available, based on financial need, for full-time undergraduate study and for less than full-time enrollment.
For the 2019-2020 school year, the award amounts are as follows:
- Part-time $120/credit hour
- Full-time $141/credit hour
The grant may be renewable for a total of eight full-time semesters of study and may be used for tuition only. Application deadline is normally July 1. The maximum amount per student is determined by the difference between the Buena Vista University tuition and the average tuition at the Iowa Regent universities.
Students from states other than Iowa should check with the proper agency in their state to receive information on availability of state-sponsored scholarships.
Other gift aid programs, such has the Iowa Education & Training Voucher Grant and the All Iowa Opportunity Scholarship, are available from the State of Iowa in limited amounts. These funds currently help Iowa students who have been in foster care, TRIO programs, alternative high schools or are homeless."