4 financial constraints facing student teachers

Tuition, fees and full student budget that education majors face before financial aid are each approximately $3,000 lower
By: | October 20, 2020
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Concerns about compensation and paying back loans discourage college students from studying education and pursuing teaching careers, according to a new report.

“How Do Education Students Pay for College?”, a brief by the American Association of Colleges For Teacher Education, aims to help educators leaders better understand the financial constraints, including:

  • The average tuition, fees and full student budget that education majors face before financial aid are each approximately $3,000 lower than the averages for other students.
  • 3 out of 4 education students received some type of grant assistance in 2015-16, and the average amount they received exceeded $9,300.
  • Grants reduce the average tuition charge for all education students—including those who did and did not receive grant assistance—by about half, from $11,753 to $5,629.
  • The average total student budget falls by 30%, from $23,729 to $16,572 after grants are taken into account.

Because the COVID pandemic and resulting economic crisis have intensified students’ financial concerns, the report urges leaders to make education programs more affordable without reducing the rigor of the programs.

Leaders should look for ways to maximize grant assistance and also provide students with paid work experiences, such as teaching residency programs that include stipends.


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Teaching students may also need more support navigating aid programs and planning their financial futures.

These moves could boost the recruitment of students who worry they cannot afford to pursue a teaching career.

In the K-12 arena, policymakers and districts should work to increase teacher compensation, particularly for novice educators who are just beginning to repay their student loans.

This would also increase the likelihood of attracting more racially diverse teachers to the profession.


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