GTS – Graduate Teacher Forgivable Loan
Due to budget constraints, no awards will be made to new or renewal applicants for the Graduate Teacher Forgivable Loan (GTS) program for the 2020-21 year.
In 1993, the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning established the Graduate Teacher Forgivable Loan Program. The program was designed to encourage current licensed classroom teachers in public schools to pursue advanced degrees in education.
Rules and Regulations:
Application dates: October 1 – March 31
Document deadline: April 30, except the Letter of Acceptance, which may be submitted through June 30
Awards are made on a first-come, first-served basis, as funding is available. However, priority is given to eligible renewal applicants.
- Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application.
- Be fully admitted as a regular student in a graduate school of education at one eligible Mississippi institution in a program of study leading to a first master’s degree and a Class “AA” Mississippi educator license.
- Hold a valid Class “A” Mississippi educator license.
- At the time of application, be under contract for a full academic year as a full-time classroom or subject area teacher in an accredited public or charter school (K-12) in Mississippi.
- Reimbursement of $125 per graduate credit hour, not to exceed twelve (12) credit hours per semester, for successfully completed coursework leading to a first master’s degree in education. The reimbursement will occur approximately 30 days after the end of each period of enrollment. Recipients are responsible financial arrangements prior to reimbursement. (NOTE: Courses reported as undergraduate or continuing education will not be reimbursed.)
- GTS is first and foremost a loan. However, a GTS loan will be forgiven (discharged) if the recipient teaches continuously while in receipt of the loan AND serves for one (1) full academic year as a full-time certified classroom teacher following degree completion.
- LIABILITY: Participants who are not serving as full-time classroom teachers in the school year for which funding was received must repay the full amount of all loans received under this program within 30 days of notification. Participants who do not obtain a Master’s degree within the allotted time frame (normally five (5) years) or who do not maintain employment in the appropriate field of study in the school year immediately following degree completion must repay the full amount of all loans received under this program within 30 days of notification.
- Complete the online application. The online application must be completed each and every academic year for which the applicant seeks aid.
- New applicants must submit a copy of the applicant’s valid Mississippi Class “A” educator’s license. A SIGNED printout from the online Mississippi Education Licensure Management System (ELMS) will be accepted.
- New applicants must submit a copy of the applicant’s Employment Contract for the current academic year.
- New applicants must submit a copy of the applicant’s official letter of acceptance into the graduate program, stating the applicant has been fully admitted or has regular admission.
- New applicants and some renewal applicants with a break in enrollment must submit two forms of residency documentation:
Preferred Residency Documents:
- Mississippi driver’s license (can be submitted electronically during the online application)
Alternate Residency Documents Accepted:
- State Tax Return (NOT Federal) for the current tax filing year.
- Homestead Exemption
- Voter Registration
- Vehicle Registration
Note: Our office receives FAFSA results electronically for all Mississippi residents. When possible, the state tax return or Mississippi driver’s license pending document will be replaced by the FAFSA.
Documents must be RECEIVED, not postmarked, by the published document deadline date of April 30.
After the Application – the GTS Award Process:
- If funding is available, the Office will make award offers as soon as possible after receiving an appropriation, but no later than mid-June.
- To accept an award, new applicants must sign a Master Contract and Note, which includes the program Rules and Regulations. The contract will be signed electronically.
- New and renewal applicants must sign a Private Loan Self-Certification Form every year for which the applicant receives funds. The self-certification form must be signed with pen and returned in hard-copy.
- When the Contract and Self-certification form have been received, the Office will notify the student’s attending institution that the student has been awarded.
Frequently Asked Questions:
- When will I know if I have been selected as a recipient?
Every effort will be made to notify new recipients by July 1.
- If awarded, when and how are the funds reimbursed to me?
All awards are made payable to the institution with the student (you) designated as the recipient of a specified amount. For coursework completed in the summer, the school may anticipate reimbursement funds in mid- to late September. For coursework completed in the fall, the school may anticipate reimbursement funds in late January or early February. For coursework taken in the spring, the school may anticipate reimbursement funds no later than June 30.
- My award was not reimbursed because of institutional information reported to your office by the school. I don’t agree with the information that the school reported. What should I do?
The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid will abide by the determination of the attending institution regarding grade point average, enrollment status, hours successfully completed, program of study and any other information which involves your eligibility for initial consideration and continuing program participation. If you have questions regarding these issues, you must contact the school you are attending for resolution.
- The GTS program requires a copy of my letter of acceptance into a Mississippi School of Education. It is my understanding from the school that notice of acceptance will not be forwarded to me until after the April 30 deadline. What should I do?
The only exception to the document deadline is the letter of acceptance, which will be accepted through June 30.
- I received an incomplete in one or more of the classes I was taking. Can I still be reimbursed once I complete the class?
Yes, to be considered for reimbursement for classes completed after your institution reported your grades, the school must submit an electronic grade verification. The grade verification must be received in our office according to the following deadlines:
–For the summer semester/trimester, October 10
–For the fall trimester (William Carey), December 15
–For the fall semester, February 20
–For the winter trimester (William Carey), March 20
–For the spring semester/trimester, June 15