Graduate Teacher, Counselor, School Administration Loan/Scholarship (GTS)

Program Overview
In 1993 the Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning established the Graduate Teacher and the Counseling and School Administration Loan/Scholarship Program. The program was designed as an incentive to encourage current licensed classroom teachers in our state’s public schools to pursue an advanced degree in education. The primary objective is to place master’s level teachers in our public school classroom and counseling and administration positions.

Important Dates
Application Period: January 1 – March 31 each year
Document deadline: April 30
Dates are important as the number of awards and recipients are dependent upon available funds and awards are made on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Eligibility Requirements

  • Is a legal resident of the State of Mississippi
  • Seeking a first Master’s Degree and a Class ‘AA’ educator’s license
  • Is fully admitted as a regular student in a graduate school of education at one eligible Mississippi university or college
  • Hold a valid Class “A” Mississippi Educator’s License
  • Is currently under contract as a full-time classroom or specific subject area teacher in an accredited public school (K-12) in Mississippi
  • Complete the on-line application and submit all supporting documentation by the April 30th deadline (Letter of Acceptance accepted through June 30)

Review the complete program Rules and Regulations: GTS_RR2014 and CSA_RR2014

Award Amount
Selected participants will be eligible to receive reimbursement of $125 per graduate credit hour, not to exceed twelve (12) credit hours, of successfully completed course work leading to a master’s degree in education. Courses reported as undergraduate or continuing education will not be reimbursed. The reimbursement will occur approximately 30 days after the end of each period of enrollment. Recipients are responsible financial arrangements prior to reimbursement.

Service Obligation
The loan to service obligation is one (1) year as a full-time certified classroom teacher, counselor or school administrator upon degree completion. Service will be concurrent with receipt of the scholarship and for one FULL academic year following degree completion.

Liability Statement
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.

Awarding priorities
The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid will make awards on a first come first served based upon our level of funding and the number of eligible applicants. However, priority is given to renewal applicants who complete the renewal process by the deadlines.

To Apply

  1. Complete the online application by the application date of March 31. This online application must be completed each academic year whether you are a prior recipient or a first-time applicant.
  2. Submit the following supporting documents by April 30:
  • A signed copy of the first two pages of your MS Resident Individual Income Tax Return for the current tax filing year.
  • A copy of valid Mississippi Educator’s License
  • A copy of Employment Contract for the current academic year
  • A copy of Letter of Acceptance stating you have been fully admitted or have regular admission.  (NOTE: This is the only document that may be submitted after the April 30 deadline date.)
  • A copy of valid Mississippi driver’s license, unless you elected to submit it electronically during the online application process
  • How to Submit Supporting Documents

The GTS/CSA Award Process

  1. A student submits an application online at the State Financial Aid page.
  2. If the student provides an email address requesting electronic communication, the student will immediately receive an email confirmation that the application was successfully submitted. Students requesting paper communication will not receive an application confirmation.
  3. After a couple of business days, the student will be sent communication (either by email or regular mail, based on the student’s preferred method of communication) that contains a state-assigned Personal Identification Number (PIN). The student can use the PIN to log in to his/her student account to check the status of an application or make changes to an application.
  4. Supporting documents that may be needed to complete an application will be listed on the student account. Students should check the student account periodically to determine what documents are needed.
  5. The Office will receive an annual appropriation from the Mississippi Legislature at the end of the annual Legislative Session (typically in late March/early April during 90-day terms or late April /early May during 120-day terms).
  6. If funding is available, the Office will make award offers as soon as possible after receiving an appropriation, but no later than mid-June.
  7. Once award offers are made, to accept an award, the student must sign a Master Contract and Note, which includes the program Rules and Regulations, and sign a Private Loan Self-Certification Form. The contract may be signed electronically, but the self-certification form must be signed with pen and returned in hard-copy.
  8. 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

  1. When will I know if I have been selected as a recipient?
    Every effort will be made to notify new recipients by July 1.
  2. 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 course work completed in the summer the school may anticipate reimbursement funds in mid to late September. For course work completed in the fall the school may anticipate reimbursement funds in late January early February and for course work taken in the spring the school may anticipate reimbursement funds no later than June 30th.
  3. 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.
  4. I have been asked to submit a copy of my Letter of Acceptance to a Mississippi School of Education and while I have applied to a school of education, it is my understanding from the school that notice of my acceptance will not be forwarded to me until after your deadline. What should I do? 
    The only exception to the submission of documents is the Letter of Acceptance which may be submitted after the deadline.
  5. 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 reimbursment for classes completed after your institution reported your grades, an official transcript that reflects the updated grade(s) must be received in our office no later than the following deadlines:
  • For the summer semester/trimester the transcript must be received no later than October 10, following the summer semester/trimester
  • For the fall trimester (William Carey) no later than December 15, following the fall trimester
  • For the fall semester no later than February 20, following the fall semester
  • For the winter trimester (William Carey) no later than March 20, following the winter trimester
  • For the spring semester/trimester no later than June 15, following the spring semester/trimester

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