William Winter Alternate Route Teacher Forgivable Loan (WWAR)

Due to budget constraints, no awards will be made to new applicants for the William Winter Alternate Route Teacher Forgivable Loan (WWAR) program for the 2017-18 year. Only renewal applicants will be offered additional loan funds.

Program Overview:
The primary objectives of this program are to provide educational opportunities for students who wish to become classroom teachers and to 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 at one Mississippi institution of higher learning in exchange for employment as a classroom teacher in a Mississippi public school.

Rules and Regulations:
WWAR Rules and Regulations

Important Dates:
Application dates: October 1 – March 31
Document deadline: April 30, except for Praxis test results, 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.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Be classified as a Junior or Senior undergraduate student for the upcoming school year.
  • Be a legal resident of the State of Mississippi for one year prior to application.
  • Enroll full-time at an eligible four-year college or university in Mississippi in a program of study leading to a first bachelor’s degree and an alternate route teacher license.
  • Have a cumulative 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale on all college course work previously taken for initial eligibility, and earn a cumulative 3.0 GPA or higher 0n a 4.0 scale each semester/trimester to maintain eligibility.
  • Earn passing scores on 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)
  • Do not be currently in default or delinquent on any federal, sate, or local educational loan.

Award Amount and Length of Eligibility:

  • WWAR awards up to $4,000 per year for a maximum of 2 years (4 semesters/6 trimesters).

Service Obligation:
The loan repayment 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.

To Apply:

  1. Complete the online application. The online application must be completed each and every academic year for which the applicant seeks aid.
  2. New applicants (those who have not previously received a WWAR award) must submit 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). Praxis testing information is available here. Mississippi Education Licensure information is available here.
  3. New applicants and some renewal applicants with a break in enrollment will be required to submit two forms of residency documentation:
    Preferred Residency Documents:

    1. FAFSA
    2. 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. Dependent students would provide a signed copy of the first two pages of the parent’s return. Independent students would provide a signed copy of the student’s return. Am I dependent or independent?
    — 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.

How to Submit Supporting Documents

After the Application – the WWAR Award Process:

  1. If funding is available, the Office will make award offers as soon as possible after receiving an appropriation, but no later than mid-June.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 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.
  2. What if my GPA does not meet the minimum requirement?
    If your cumulative GPA is less than 3.0 at the end of a semester/trimester, you will lose the WWAR award for the next semester/trimester of enrollment during a normal academic year. In order to regain eligibility, your cumulative GPA must meet the minimum 3.0 GPA requirement.
  3. 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. The Mississippi Office of Student Financial Aid does not participate in the employment process.
  4. How do I submit supporting documents to the Office of Student Financial Aid?
    How to Submit Supporting Documents