State Grants

State grants are excellent resources to help you fund your education. They are awarded annually to qualified students based on the state where they reside. Arizona state grant information is below. For information regarding state grant options outside of Arizona, contact your state’s department of education. For information regarding GCU scholarships, visit our Additional Scholarships and Grants page

AZ Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP)

The Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnership (LEAP) program establishes a federal-state partnership to provide financial assistance in the form of grants to students who have demonstrated financial need. Federal funds are provided to match appropriated state funds on a dollar-for-dollar basis. Each participating institution, public or private, provides institutional matching funds, which are equal to the amount of funds provided by the state for the LEAP program. Funds are dependent upon federal approval and may not be available for certain award years.


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Which institutions are eligible to participate?

Only public and private postsecondary institutions that are properly licensed in Arizona and accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency (which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education), are eligible.

Who is eligible to receive LEAP awards?

Arizona residents who are attending a participating eligible Arizona postsecondary education institution as either a full-time or half-time undergraduate-level student and who can demonstrate financial need, are eligible for LEAP awards.

How do I apply for the LEAP program?

If you meet the state minimum qualifications, have submitted all of your required financial aid documents for packaging, have an expected family contribution (EFC) of 0, and have not been awarded Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG) funds, the Office of Financial Aid will automatically award in order of packaged date until funds are depleted.

How large are Arizona LEAP awards and must they be repaid?

The LEAP award is a maximum of $2,500 and a minimum of $100 per academic year. LEAP awards are grants and do not have to be repaid.

State Minimum Qualifications:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible non-citizen
  • Must be a resident of Arizona
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time as an undergraduate student in a regionally or nationally accredited Arizona postsecondary institution
  • Must have substantial financial need (be eligible for the Federal Pell Grant) as determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA)
  • Must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as determined by the institution

Arizona Teacher Student Loan Program

The Arizona Teacher Student Loan Program is a need-based forgivable loan designed to financially support and encourage college students who are Arizona residents to enter into the teaching profession and teach in Arizona. Students must enter into an agreement with the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (ACPE) to teach in an Arizona public school for a term equal to the number of years the loan is received plus one year. Additionally, students must sign a promissory note acknowledging the conditions of the forgivable loan and promising to repay the loan plus interest if the teaching obligation is not met. The financial aid office at GCU must certify that the student meets the minimum qualifications for the program. Loans are awarded to eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis.

What is the award amount?

The maximum forgivable loan is $7,000 per academic year for up to three years excluding all grants, scholarships and other tuition benefits (e.g. tribal and military). Funds can be applied toward tuition, instructional materials and mandatory fees as documented in the student’s Cost of Attendance (COA) at GCU.

Minimum qualifications for loan:

  • Must be a U.S. citizen or an eligible noncitizen.
  • Must be a resident of Arizona for at least 12 months prior to the time of application.
  • Must be enrolled at least half-time in a baccalaureate program working on a teaching degree or an alternative teacher certification 41 program at a nationally or regionally accredited postsecondary educational institution in Arizona (public or private).
  • Must be a junior or higher.
  • Must be seeking a first baccalaureate degree or an alternative teaching certificate.
  • Must have financial need (COA minus Expected Family Contribution (EFC)).
  • Must maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) as determined by GCU.
  • Must enter into an agreement with the ACPE to teach in an Arizona public school for a term equal to the number of years the loan is received plus one year.
  • Must enter into an agreement with the ACPE to provide instruction as a teacher in a public school in math, science or special education or to provide instruction as a teacher in a public low-income school, public rural school or a public school located on a Native American reservation.
  • Must sign a promissory note acknowledging the conditions of the loan and promising to repay the loan plus 7% interest if teaching obligation is not met.
  • First-time applicants must write a 250- to 500-word on what impact they want to make in the classroom.

How do I apply for the program?

Students must submit a loan application and a completed promissory note annually to the ACPE. Additionally, students must complete the FAFSA. The ACPE will work with the financial aid office at GCU to determine student eligibility. Loans are awarded to eligible students on a first-come, first-served basis. More information along with the application and promissory note can be found at azgrants.az.gov

TEACH Grant

The U.S. Department of Education's Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program provides grant funds to postsecondary students who are completing coursework that is needed for a career in teaching and who agree to serve for at least four years.

You must serve as a full-time, highly qualified teacher in a high-need field and in a school serving low-income students after leaving school.

If you receive a TEACH Grant, but do not complete the required four years of teaching service within eight years after completing the coursework for which you received the grant, or if you otherwise do not meet the requirements of the TEACH Grant program, all TEACH Grant funds that you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan that you must repay in full with interest to the 42 Department of Education. Once a TEACH Grant is converted to a loan, it cannot be converted back to a grant.

Eligibility

If you plan to teach, you may wish to consider the TEACH Grant. Be aware that if you receive the TEACH Grant, but do not fulfill the stringent requirements of the program, the amount awarded in grant money becomes a loan with interest, compounded from the time of the award.

To be eligible at GCU, you must:

  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Complete a FAFSA, although you do not have to demonstrate financial need to be eligible
  • Have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25 throughout your academic program or demonstrate a score above the 75th percentile on a national standardized college admissions test (ACT, SAT, GRE or GMAT) or be employed as a full-time teacher as a graduate student
  • Be accepted into an eligible degree program

    You also must:
  • Major in education and pursue a certification in a high-need subject area, or major in a high-need subject area without obtaining certification if you are already certified. You are only eligible if you are pursuing your first undergraduate degree. You are NOT eligible for the TEACH Grant if you are pursuing a second undergraduate degree.
  • Sign an Agreement to Serve and complete entrance counseling each year that you receive a grant
  • Complete these forms at the Department of Education’s website: teach-ats.ed.gov

Counseling

You are required to complete entrance counseling through the Department of Education site each year that you accept a TEACH Grant. You will also be required to attend exit counseling when you graduate or leave school.

Documentation

Within 120 days of completing your program or ceasing enrollment in your program, you must notify the U.S. Department of Education that you are fulfilling (or plan to fulfill) the terms and conditions of your service agreement. You must document your teaching service annually; the chief administrative officer at the school where you teach must certify your documentation.

Amount of Grant

The TEACH Grant program provides grants of up to $4,000 per academic year to qualified students. Due to sequestration legislation these awards are reduced by pre-determined percentage each Oct. 1. In addition, the awards are reduced proportionally based on a student’s enrollment status of three-quarter time, half-time and less-than-half time.

TEACH Grant Service Agreement

Agreement to Serve

Each year you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay that is available electronically on the Department of Education website. The Agreement to Serve states the conditions under which the grant will be awarded and 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 disbursed.

  • For each TEACH Grant-eligible program for which you received TEACH Grant funds, you must serve as a full-time teacher for a total of at least four academic years within eight calendar years after you completed or withdrew from the academic program for which you received the TEACH Grant.
  • You must perform the teaching service as a highly-qualified teacher at a low-income school. The term highly-qualified teacher is defined in section 9101(23) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 or in section 602(10) of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • Your teaching service must be in a high-need field.
  • You must comply with any other requirements that the Department of Education determines to be necessary. If you do not complete the required teaching service obligation, TEACH Grant funds you received will be converted to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Loan that you must repay with interest charged from the date of each TEACH Grant disbursement.

You agree to teach in any of the following high-needs subject areas at low-income schools:

  • Bilingual education and English language acquisition
  • Foreign language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading specialist
  • Science
  • Special education
  • Other identified teacher shortage areas (listed by state, as of the year you will begin teaching). Find out more at: studentaid.ed.gov/sa/types/grants-scholarships/teach#highneed-fields

Fulfilling the service agreement requires the majority of your classes be taught in one of the high-need subject areas. Elementary teachers teaching multiple subjects will find it difficult, if not impossible, to satisfy their service obligation.

Apply for a TEACH Grant

For more information about applying for a TEACH Grant, speak with your university counselor or student services counselor by calling us at 855-GCU-LOPE.

Federal Pell Grant

Federal Pell Grants are awarded to eligible undergraduate students pursuing their first bachelor's degree who demonstrate significant financial need. These funds do not have to be repaid. You are no longer eligible for the Pell Grant if you have already earned your first bachelor’s degree.

To determine eligibility, the U.S. Department of Education uses a standard formula established by Congress to evaluate the information reported on the FAFSA. The formula produces an EFC figure. This figure, along with your enrollment status, is used by the Office of Financial Aid to determine the amount of funds to be awarded. Based on a legislation passed by Congress, effective in 2012, you are now limited to a maximum lifetime Pell Grant limit of the equivalent of 12 full-time semesters of eligibility.

As the federal award changes each year, please check with your student service counselor for current award maximums.

Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant)

The Federal SEOG (Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant)1 is awarded to you if you have financial need and meet the same federal general eligibility requirements as that of a Pell recipient. Students with the lowest EFCs who also receive Pell Grants for the award year have primary consideration for this grant. As funds are limited, the selection process is completed on a first-come, first-served basis. As this is a grant, funds do not need to be repaid. The normal award is $1,000 per award year.

1.As the GCU Office of Financial Aid becomes aware of outside scholarship opportunities, we will post them here. Although we screen these listings to eliminate any offers that do not appear to be legitimate, inclusion in this list does not indicate an endorsement or recommendation of any kind. You should review all scholarship information carefully, especially before submitting an application fee of any kind.

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