…from the Hill…
Some teachers who received a special grant from the Education Department to help pay for their own tuition are saying their grants were wrongly converted into loans, NPR reported.
The department’s Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) grants are awarded to college students who teach in “high-need” fields like math and science at low-income schools.
The grants, which can total up to $4,000 an academic year, remain grants so long as recipients teach in the fields for at least four years during an eight-year period, and then provide proof that they’re continuing to teach in the filed.
Recipients who meet the qualifications keep the money as grants, but those who don’t see the funding converted to loans, which must be paid back to the department.
However, NPR reported that some recipients had their grants converted despite believing they had fulfilled all of the requirements.
An Education Department study released Wednesday found that 63 percent of recipients, or more than 12,000 people, had their grants converted to loans because they didn’t fulfill the program requirements.
One in three of the grant recipients thought they were meeting the program’s qualifications, but still had the funds turned into a loan.
Several of the teachers receiving the loans told NPR that their grants were converted due to issues with paperwork for the program.
“I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong,” Maggie Webb, a teacher whose loan was converted over paperwork issues, told NPR. “I knew I had done it right. And it was just so hurtful that they would do that.”…