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Federal and State Grants

Federal PELL grants

These grants make up the basic federal grant program. Eligibility is determined by the university and is subject to federal regulations. The value of the grant is based on school's cost of attendance, the calculated federal family contribution and whether you are attending full-time or part time. Current award levels vary up to $5,730.00.

All PELL Grant eligible students who have a credit balance on their student account may charge the cost of their books up to the amount of their credit balance at the Mercyhurst University Book Store. These books can be charged starting from ten days before classes begin up to the last day of Drop/Add for the current semester.

More on PELL Grants

Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant (SEOG)

SEOG is provided by the federal government for distribution by Mercyhurst University and does not require repayment. The demand for SEOG exceeds the resources available. The Office of Student Financial Services automatically considers every Pell eligible student for SEOG and will award the grant to those with the greatest demonstrated financial need.

More on SEOG

Federal TEACH Grant

Am I eligible for the Federal TEACH Grant?

The Federal Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program was created to fill the teacher shortages in high-need fields.  The TEACH Grant is the first federal grant program that requires a service agreement and has the potential of converting to a loan. To review the basic eligibility criteria, please read the following information below.

Potential Funds available through the Federal TEACH Grant

The Federal TEACH Grant allows up to $4,000 per year available for full-time students on both the undergraduate and graduate levels.  Amounts are prorated according to enrollment levels per term.

  • Maximum total awards for undergraduate studies: $16,000
  • Maximum total awards for graduate studies: $8,000

Due to sequestration:

  • Any TEACH grant first disbursed on or after October 1, 2015 and before October 1, 2016 are subject to a 6.80% reduction of the maximum award of $4,000, resulting in a maximum award of $3,728.

Service Agreement

Each year that you receive a TEACH Grant, you must sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and complete a new TEACH Grant Entrance Counseling. Specifically, the TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve will require the following:

  • 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.

IMPORTANT: If you fail to complete this service obligation, the U.S. Department of Education will convert all Federal TEACH Grants funds that you received to a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan. You must then repay this loan to the U.S. Department of Education. You will be charged interest from the date the grant(s) disbursed.

Student Eligibility Requirements for Federal TEACH Grant

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), although you do not have to demonstrate financial need
  • Be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen
  • Be enrolled in one of Mercyhurst’s TEACH Grant eligible programs (See list of eligible programs below)
  • Meet certain academic achievement requirements (generally, scoring above the 75th percentile on a college admissions test or maintaining a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25)
  • Complete TEACH Grant Initial and Subsequent Counseling which is required by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • Sign a TEACH Grant Agreement to Serve and Promise to Pay each year with the U.S. Department of Education
  • Complete the Mercyhurst University TEACH Grant Application


High Needs Fields

  • Bilingual education and English language acquisition
  • Foreign Language
  • Mathematics
  • Reading Specialist
  • Science
  • Special Education
  • Any other field that has been identified as high-need by the federal government, a state government, or a local education agency, and that is included in the annual Teacher Shortage Area Nationwide Listing (Nationwide List).


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.



2015-16 TEACH Grant Eligible Majors

Bachelor's Degree Programs

  • Early Childhood Education (PreK-4)
  • Early Childhood Education (PreK-4)/Special Education (PreK-8) Dual Major
  • World Languages – French, Spanish (K-12)
  • Secondary Education 4+1

Master's Degree Programs

  • Master of Science in Secondary Education
  • Master of Science in Special Education


*Note: All undergraduate programs must lead to licensure in order to qualify.

What to do if you believe you qualify and are interested in the Federal TEACH Grant
Students in eligible majors complete the Mercyhurst TEACH  application . If you meet all eligibility requirements to receive TEACH, your award will be packaged upon completion of the application review. You will then be required to sign an "Agreement to Serve" contract with the federal government and complete the TEACH Grant federal entrance counseling before the funds are disbursed to your account.

Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency Grant (PHEAA)

Grants awarded to the residents of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. If an estimated state grant appears on the award letter, the estimated amount is based on current information available to the college. The actual amount of your state grant is determined when you and the college receive official notification from the state agency. Please note that if you are a recipient of the Pennsylvania State Grant and have been selected for validation (an income review process where you will be asked to submit your tax information to PHEAA to establish state grant eligibility), the funds will not be released to the university until you have completed the necessary paperwork with PHEAA.

More on PHEAA

Grants other than Pennsylvania includes state grants from:

Rhode Island
West Virginia

Student Employment

The Student Employment Program provides jobs for full-time students to help pay for their education-related expenses. Eligibility to participate in this program is dependent on the student’s need as determined by both the FAFSA application and Student Financial Services as the Student Employment award is a part of the students financial aid award/package. Only student's who are awarded federal work-study or institutional employment and have received correspondence should view the 2015-16 Student Employment Booklet by clicking here. 2015-16_online_booklet.pdf