Elementary education scholarships can go a long way towards helping aspiring teachers overcome college tuition costs to reach their career goal of teaching in K-6 classrooms.
All students enrolled in elementary education programs build the content knowledge and teaching skills needed to enlighten young minds in reading, writing, science, social studies, math, and more.
Though there's a surplus of elementary teachers in many areas of America, employment is expected to grow slightly faster than average by 12% before 2022 as older teachers reach retirement age. In particular, elementary education majors who plan to specialize in bilingual or special education and teach in urban or rural schools will have more favorable prospects.
Read on to learn about 20 of the best scholarships available for teachers carving out a niche in elementary education to give children a solid foundation for further schooling.
1. Annis I. Fowler/Kaden Scholarship
Deadline: February 27th
Endowed through the South Dakota Board of Regents, the Annis I. Fowler/Kaden Scholarship is awarded annually for $1,000 to two aspiring educators in honor of a devoted woman who spent nearly 50 years teaching students with various learning disabilities. Qualified applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, have declared a major in elementary education, be enrolling full-time as an entering freshman at an accredited four-year institution in South Dakota, and exhibit motivational abilities for working with children. Applications must be accompanied by an official high school transcript, ACT test results, an original 1,500-word essay, and two letters of recommendation from former teachers.
2. Call Me MISTER Program
Deadline: May 1st
As an innovative leadership development program first started in South Carolina before spreading nationwide, the Call Me MISTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) program is designed to provide $2,000 each semester for future African American male teachers and much-needed role models for young children. Eligible scholars at the sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate level must maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.2, attend various mentor/teacher leadership sessions, attend a participating HBCU in the United States, and be declared elementary education majors. Recipients will be required to commit at least one year of teaching in their state's lowest performing elementary schools.
3. Christina Jean Brooks Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
At Southern Nazarene University, the School of Education offers the Christina Jean Brooks Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually for $1,500 to unmarried incoming freshman females and/or senior females in their student teaching semester who have declared a concentration in elementary education. Qualified candidates must carry a minimum overall GPA of 2.8, have earned an ACT score of 18 or above, be members of the Church of Nazarene, reside within Oklahoma, exhibit financial need, and maintain full-time enrollment. The scholarship can be used to cover recipients' tuition, academic fees, room and board, or textbooks only.
4. Darlene Phillips Elementary Education Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Within the Community Foundation of Greene County in Pennsylvania (CFGCPA), the Darlene Phillips Elementary Education Scholarship is granted each year for $1,000 to graduating high school seniors who are planning to attend an accredited four-year post-secondary institution with a major in elementary education. Eligible recipients must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, be graduating from Mapletown High School, have a strong attendance record, demonstrate financial need, and be actively involved in extra-curricular activities. Applicants should submit one letter of recommendation, an official transcript, proof of college admissions, documentation of their extra-curricular involvement, and their financial aid report.
Darlene Phillips Elementary Education Scholarship
P.O. Box 768
Waynesburg, PA 15370
5. Edward G. and Helen A. Borgens Scholarship
Deadline: February 15th
Sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the Edward G. and Helen A. Borgens Scholarship is granted annually as a one-time award of $1,500 to a currently enrolled college student who is studying to teach at the elementary school level. Eligible candidates must be 25 years of age or older, have maintained a minimum overall GPA of 3.5, be at least sophomores, attend accredited universities, and plan to specialize in elementary education. With the application, students should attach an official transcript, two letters of recommendation, proof of U.S. citizenship, and a 1,000-word essay expressing their career objectives in classroom teaching.
6. Evelyn Lenander Scholarships
Deadline: May 15th
In honor of a beloved educator who taught in Buffalo Lake Schools for 29 years and continued to substitute teach until 78, the Evelyn Lenander Scholarships are presented each year through the Central Minnesota Community Foundation for $4,000 apiece to third and fourth year college students pursuing degrees in elementary education. Eligible applicants must be attending a Minnesota college, have completed two full years of college, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0, and write a short personal statement describing their career aspirations in elementary education. Preference will be given to residents within 25 miles of Buffalo Lake, but all central Minnesota students can apply.
Evelyn Lenander Scholarships
101 7th Avenue South
St. Cloud, MN 56301
7. Isabel M. Herson Scholarship in Education
Deadline: February 2nd
Through the National Educational Foundation of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, the Isabel M. Herson Scholarship in Education has been created to award $500 to $1,000 annually to both Zetas and non-Zetas who are currently enrolled in a degree program for elementary education. Qualified undergraduate and graduate students must be enrolled full-time, attend an accredited four-year university in the United States, and be in good academic standing. Application packets must include three letters of recommendation, official college transcripts, proof of enrollment, W-2 tax forms, documentation of community service, and a 150-word statement addressing candidates' aspirations in education.
8. Janice S. Jones Scholarship Fund
Deadline: January 15th
Established by the American Association for Employment in Education (AAEE) to honor the memory of special education teacher who retired in 2004, the Janice S. Jones Scholarship Fund is available for elementary education majors preparing for high-need teaching fields, including bilingual education, mathematics, science, and special education. All applicants must be currently enrolled in accredited teaching preparation programs, maintain full-time enrollment, attend a university holding AAEE membership, and have clear goals in a qualified critical need area. Recipients will be chosen based on their academic performance, community and/or school service, and potential to achieve excellence as a teacher.
Janice S. Jones Scholarship Fund
947 East Johnstown Road
Gahanna, OH 43230
9. Judith Cary Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: March 31st
Created by the P. Buckley Moss Foundation in honor of her 25-year career teaching home economics, the Judith Cary Memorial Scholarship is available to provide up to $1,000 annually for any elementary or secondary education majors who are pursuing a bachelor's or master's degree with a specialization in special education. Eligible candidates must be working full or part-time towards a degree, attend an accredited teacher certification program, have completed at least two years of college, and express a clear interest in working with students with special needs. Applications must include a nomination by a Moss Society member, two additional letters of recommendation, and a short 500-word essay discussing teaching philosophies.
Judith Cary Memorial Scholarship
108 South Wayne Avenue
Waynesboro, VA 22980
10. Karen Marie Murdock Blair Scholarship
Deadline: February 2nd
At Utah State University, the Emma Eccles College of Education and Human Services has created the Karen Marie Murdock Blair Scholarship to grant $1,500 to junior or senior-level undergraduate students who have declared a major in elementary education. Qualified applicants must have a minimum overall GPA of 3.3, have an interest in using theatrical arts or oral interpretation to enhance the classroom, be actively involved in community service, exhibit personal integrity, and demonstrate financial need. Recipients must attend the School of Teacher Education & Leadership Awards in April to acknowledge receipt of the scholarship.
11. Kersey/Oglesby Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
As part of Phi Delta Kappa (PDK) International's Prospective Educator program, the Kersey/Oglesby Scholarship is awarded annually for up to $1,000 to graduating high school seniors or incoming college freshmen who are preparing to major in elementary education or early childhood education to work with young children. Qualified PDK members must submit one letter of recommendation, an official high school transcript, a FAFSA form, and a 100-word goals statement describing their vision for becoming a teacher. Preference will be given to male students from Indiana, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, or West Virginia.
12. Minority Teacher Education Scholarship
Deadline: July 1st
Through the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers (FFMT), the Minority Teacher Education Scholarship (MTES) is available to provide $4,000 annually to education majors of African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian American, Pacific Islander, American Indian, or Alaskan Native descent for enrolling into a teacher preparation program. Qualified candidates must be attending a participating four-year university, reside in Florida, have at least junior standing, and have not completed over 18 hours of upper-division education coursework. If recipients don't graduate within three years and start teaching in a Florida public school, the funds will need to be repaid with interest.
13. Nancy Larson Foundation Scholarships
Deadline: November 15th
Formed by the author of the nationally successful Saxon Math K-4 and Science K-4 programs, the Nancy Larson Foundation proudly sponsors annual scholarships for juniors, seniors, and graduate students who have declared a major in elementary education across America. To qualify for at least $1,000 in tuition assistance, eligible applicants must be currently enrolled in an accredited teacher preparation program, have outstanding academic records, be actively involved in community service, possess classroom experience, display potential for shaping children's minds, and clearly communicate an interest in teaching science and/or math.
14. Paula K. Frazier Scholarship Endowment
Deadline: March 25th
At James Madison University, the College of Education has used a generous donation to create the Paula K. Frazier Scholarship Endowment for providing $1,000 annually to students currently enrolled in the Early, Elementary, and Reading Education Department. Qualified candidates must be planning a teaching career at the elementary level, have a passion for working with children, consistently show 100% dedication, embrace appropriate risk taking, exhibit a creative mind for thinking outside the box, and always put forth good old-fashioned effort. Applications must be accompanied by an unofficial transcript, current resume, and personal statement.
15. Peter and Phyllis Pruden Scholarship
Deadline: October 10th
In the amount of $5,000, the Peter and Phyllis Pruden Scholarship is presented annually through the School of Education at the College of William & Mary to deserving undergraduate and graduate students from Virginia, North Carolina, or Tennessee who have declared a major in elementary education. Selection will be focused on financial need, academic distinction, good moral character, and potential for success in elementary teaching. For consideration, interested students must submit a completed application form with a current resume, financial need statement, faculty recommendation letter, and official transcript.
16. Sally Gearhart Strottman Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: January 15th
At the University of Northern Iowa, the College of Education has recently created the Sally Gearhart Strottman Memorial Scholarship to provide $10,000 for up to four years to new students declaring a major in elementary education. Applicants must complete 30 credits each academic year, have a minimum ACT score of 27, supply two professional references, and show potential as elementary teachers. Preference is given to any incoming freshmen from Allamakee, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Buttler, Cerro Gordo, Chicksaw, Clayton, Delaware, Dubuque, Fayette, Floyd, Franklin, Grundy, Hardin, Howard, Mitchell, Winneshiek, and Worth counties of northeastern Iowa.
17. TEACH Grant Program
Deadline: June 30th
Administered by the U.S. Department of Education, the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant program is available to offer up to $4,000 each year for deserving undergraduate or graduate students who are completing coursework to begin a career teaching in a high-need field. Qualified candidates must be U.S. citizens, be enrolled in a participating teacher preparation program, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.25, and score above the 75th percentile on college admissions tests. Recipients will be required to teach at an elementary school, secondary school, or other educational agency with low-income students in bilingual education, foreign language, mathematics, reading specialist, science, or special education.
TEACH Grant Program
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20202
18. THA Foundation Scholarships
Initially started four decades ago by Thomas S. Haggai, the THA Foundation is highly regarded for providing over $275,000 in scholarship funding each academic year to non-traditional students who are pursuing an elementary education degree at Florida Gulf Coast University, George Mason University, Miami University, Texas A&M University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and Winthrop University. Eligible applications must be high school graduates, be at least 23 years old, lack fully authorized teaching credentials, have a minimum overall GPA of 2.75, enroll full-time, demonstrate financial need, and have a clear commitment to teaching at the elementary school grade levels.
THA Foundation Scholarships
P.O. Box 1334
High Point, NC 27261
19. Thelma V. Bounds Memorial Scholarship
Deadline: April 1st
Within the College of Education & Psychology at the University of Southern Mississippi, the Thelma V. Bounds Memorial Scholarship is granted annually for $1,500 to deserving sophomore, junior, or senior undergraduate students who are majoring in history, literature, or elementary education for a rewarding career in teaching. Qualified applicants must be native Mississippians, be currently enrolled full-time at USM, demonstrate financial need, maintain a minimum overall GPA of 3.0, and plan to work with students in grades K-8. Priority will be given to individuals who agree to teach in an accredited Mississippi public school upon graduation.
20. Zell Family Scholarship Fund
Deadline: May 1st
With the goal of supporting the growth of tomorrow's Montessori teacher leaders, the Zell Family Scholarship Fund has been established by the American Montessori Society (AMS) to award two annual awards for $1,000 apiece to students enrolled in an AMS-affiliated teacher program for early childhood or elementary education. Eligible undergraduate and graduate students must have been accepted into an accredited U.S. university, have good academic standing, exhibit financial need, and clearly communicate career goals in Montessori education. Applications must include a personal statement, verification of TEP acceptance, IRS income tax forms, and three original letters of recommendation.
Most people hold fond memories of their first teachers, so earning a degree in elementary education can be a great step towards fulfilling the role of teacher, mentor, and friend for positively impacting young children. If you're ready to become the amazing teacher that hundreds of students remember for a lifetime, check out these top-notch elementary education scholarships to help pay for college and relieve the stress of loan debt once you begin teaching.