State Teacher Education Program | STEP
Important Note: The following information is intended as a general overview of the program for those applying, or who are considering applying, for the scholarship and is not intended to be a comprehensive compilation of program requirements. For complete information, please refer to the program’s rules and regulations.
Disclaimer: The laws, rules, regulations, award amounts, amount of awardees, eligibility criteria, funding per program, etc., are subject to change at any point prior to, during, or after application through the SAMS application. These changes will be based on changes in law or funding provided by the Arkansas General Assembly. It is understood that ADHE is not at fault for any changes that occur to any financial aid program. In addition, awards for all ADHE programs are limited by the availability of funds.STEP is a loan repayment program that offers yearly loan repayment grants to current educators teaching in a subject or geographic shortage area in an Arkansas public school. Teachers must reapply each year and are eligible for up to three years.
- October 1, 2022 - STEP application opens - apply through your ADHE SAMS account at https://sams.adhe.edu/
- June 1, 2023 - Priority deadline - all documentation must be postmarked by June 1, 2023
- July 1, 2023 - Final deadline to apply
- July 15, 2023 - All documentation must be postmarked by July 15, 2023
- Requirements: Graduated after April 1, 2004; Teaching in a Geographic or Subject Shortage Area.
- Documents Required: College Transcript with Graduation Date; Lender Payment Information.
- Award Amount: Up to $4,000 per year paid directly to lender.
Scholarship Deadline to Apply
$3,000 to $4,000
Who May Apply:
Eligible educators who are practicing in a geographic and/or subject shortage area of the state, and have outstanding federal student loan debt.
The State Teacher Education Program (STEP) provides assistance for eligible teachers with repayment of outstanding federal student loans. The Arkansas Department of Higher Education (ADHE) shall administer the State Teacher Education Program (STEP) within the policies set by the Arkansas Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Total term of federal student loan repayment shall not exceed three years.
Basic Eligibility Criteria
An applicant must:
- Be a bona fide Arkansas resident for at least 12 months prior to the application deadline
- Be a citizen of the United States or a lawful permanent resident
- Have graduated from a teacher education program after April 2004
- Have outstanding federal student loans
- Hold a valid Arkansas teacher’s license
- Teach full-time at a public school district in Arkansas during the award year
- Meet one of the below, additional criteria:
- Teach in a subject area with a teacher shortage, as identified by the Arkansas Division of Higher Education, in consultation with the Arkansas Department of Education; or
- Teach in a geographic area with a teacher shortage, as identified by the Arkansas Division of Higher Education
- Provide college transcript that lists the completion date and undergraduate degree
- Provide lender statement that includes:
- Borrower Name
- Account Name
- Loan Balance
- Mailing Address of the Lender
Continuing Eligibility Criteria
- Recipients must reapply each year and meet all eligibility requirements each year (not to exceed three years)
- Loan repayment for federal student loans in the amount of three thousand dollars ($3,000) per year for each year a licensed teacher teaches in a public school located in a geographical area of the state designated as having a critical shortage of teachers OR in a subject matter area designated as having a critical shortage of teachers.
- Additional loan repayment for federal student loans in the amount of one thousand dollars ($1,000) per year for each year a licensed minority teacher teaches in a public school located in a geographical area of the state designated as having a critical shortage of teachers or in a subject matter area designated as having a critical shortage of teachers in Arkansas.
- Total term of federal student loan repayment shall not exceed three years.