William Winter Alternate Route Teacher Scholar Loan Program (WWAR)
The primary objectives of this program are to provide education opportunities for students who wish to become classroom teachers and address Mississippi’s teacher shortage by providing a constant source of qualified classroom teachers for our public schools. WWAR awards will be made available, to the extent of appropriated funds, to persons seeking a bachelor’s degree in teacher education at one Mississippi institution of higher learning in exchange for employment as a classroom teacher in a Mississippi public school.
Application dates: January 1 – March 31
Document deadline: April 30
Praxis test results: June 30
The 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.
- Will be a Junior or Senior for the upcoming school year
- Is a legal resident of Mississippi
- Is seeking a first bachelor’s degree and plans to enroll in a program of study leading to an alternative route teacher license immediately after completing bachelor’s degree.
- Can provide proof of passing the Praxis: Praxis 1 Pre-Professional Skills Test (if taken on/before 12/31/2013 and applying for license on/before 9/1/2015) OR Praxis Core Academic Skills Test (if taken after 1/1/2014)
- Has a 3.0 cumulative GPA on all college course work previously taken
- Completes the online application and submits all supporting documentation by the March 31st deadline, except Praxis score results, which may be submitted through June 30.
Review the complete program Rules and Regulations: WWAR_RR2014
Up to $4,000 per year ($2,000 a semester) for a maximum of 2 years (4 semesters)
The loan obligation can be discharged on the basis of one year’s service for one year of loan received. Teaching service is defined as being employed as a contracted full-time classroom teacher in a Mississippi public school.
The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid will make awards on a first-come first-served based upon our level of funding. However, priority is given to renewal applicants who complete the renewal process by the deadlines.
- Complete the online application. This online application must be completed each academic year whether you are a prior recipient or a first-time applicant.
- Submit the following supporting documents:
- Passing Praxis scores: Praxis 1 Pre-Professional Skills Test (if taken on/before 12/31/2013 and applying for license on/before 9/1/2015) OR Praxis Core Academic Skills Test (if taken after 1/1/2014). Send scores to the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid, 3825 Ridgewood Road, Jackson, MS 39211. Praxis testing information is available here. Mississippi Education Licensure information is available here. (NOTE: This is the only document that may be submitted after the April 30 deadline date.)
- Signed copy of the first two pages of parent’s MS Resident Individual Income Tax Return for the current tax filing year. Independent students would provide signed copy of student’s tax return for the current tax filing year. Am I dependent or independent?
- Copy of Mississippi driver’s license, unless you elected to submit it electronically during the online application
- How to Submit Supporting Documents
The WWAR Award Process
- A student submits an application online at the State Financial Aid page.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- If funding is available, the Office will make award offers as soon as possible after receiving an appropriation, but no later than mid-June.
- 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.
- 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
- Does your office automatically receive my Praxis test scores?
No. Scores are automatically sent to the Mississippi Department of Education for licensure requirements, but they are not sent to the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid. Students must mail in a copy of their passing Praxis scores to the Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid to be considered to receive WWAR. Scores may be submitted after the March 31 deadline.
- What if my semester grade point average does not meet the minimum requirement?
If your semester/trimester GPA is less than 3.0 at the end of a semester/trimester, you will lose the WWAR for the next semester/trimester of enrollment during a normal academic year. In order to regain eligibility your semester/trimester and cumulative GPA must meet the minimum requirement, which is 3.0.
- Do I get to choose the grade level I want to teach or am I just placed in a teaching job?
The Mississippi Teacher Center will assist WWAR participants in arranging placement interviews with Mississippi public school districts; however, it is the responsibility of the participant to secure a teaching position.