Arizona Teachers Academy

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

The scholarship covers all tuition and mandatory fees for participating teacher certification programs at the University of Arizona once an applicant has already accepted all other non-loan aid, such as institutional and private scholarships and federal Pell grants. For a list of mandatory fees covered by the ATA scholarship, you may refer to the Bursar’s fee descriptions. For students in an eligible Fine Arts teacher certification program, the ATA also pays for tuition differential costs. Please note: the ATA Scholarship does not cover such fees as candidacy fees, course fees or study abroad charges.

As of January 1, 2021, ATA students will also automatically have the fees associated with the areas awarded on their Institutional Recommendations (IRs) waived. Please note that this excludes any added approved areas not already on a student’s IR; fees associated with those are the student’s responsibility. For additional information about the Institutional Recommendation or the ATA waiver, please contact the university’s Certification Officer.

Additionally, ATA students are eligible to receive vouchers to cover the cost of test fees for many of the AEPA teacher certification exams. If you are currently an ATA student, you may have already been contacted with information on obtaining these vouchers, but if not please reach out to us by email to learn more.

Finally, upon completion of a participating program, ATA graduates become eligible for various new teacher supports throughout their first year of teaching. These include instructional coaching as well as professional development opportunities exclusive to the ATA. Our induction specialists will contact you with more information as you approach your expected graduation date.

You may apply for the ATA Scholarship prior to being accepted into a participating teacher certification program at the University of Arizona. However, your scholarship application will not be considered until the application deadline has passed, and you are either in an ATA-eligible certification program or, in the case of undergraduate students, a corresponding pre-major.

Applicants to the ATA who are currently enrolled at the University of Arizona are considered Arizona residents if they pay resident tuition — students can confirm their residency status by clicking on the “Demographics Data” link at the bottom of their Student Center in UAccess. However, undergraduate transfer students and incoming graduate students may have to verify their residency status with the university by completing a Domicile Affidavit. For more information, please contact the Residency Classification Office at 520-621-3636, by email or by visiting their website.

Yes but priority will be given to students who are pursuing a full course of study for their teacher certification program, which may not always involve full-time enrollment.

To be eligible for ATA funding, international students must file a FAFSA and qualify for federal student aid. For more information, please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid.

Following passage of Proposition 308 in November 2022, DACA students are now eligible for Arizona state-based aid as long as they meet all other requirements for that aid. For the ATA Scholarship, this means that DACA students must also file a FAFSA and qualify for federal student. Please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid for more information.

No, there are currently no post-baccalaureate programs at Arizona currently participating in the ATA Scholarship.

The Board of Regents requires that all ATA Scholarship recipients file their Free Application for Student (FAFSA) every year they receive the scholarship. This means that you must have your yearly FAFSA successfully processed by both the U.S. Department of Education and the university’s Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA), which may require additional verification of identity and/or income.

Applicants awarded an ATA Scholarship will not be charged tuition or mandatory fees for the duration of their time in a participating certification program. The scholarship covers both the Fall and Spring semesters, as well as any Summer sessions if funding is available.

Undergraduate students have a maximum of eight semesters to complete their teacher certification program, and graduate students have a maximum of four. Enrollment must be continuous and in good standing for a student to remain eligible for funding. Fall and Spring semesters count towards these semester limits while Summer sessions do not. Students who have reached their maximum number of semesters and have not yet completed their teacher certification program may not reapply or be eligible for additional ATA funding to complete that certification program.

We strongly encourage you to email us any changes to your enrollment that might change your expected graduation date, as those changes may also impact your ATA funding eligibility.

Please note that once admitted to the ATA, you do not have to reapply unless you change programs or discontinue enrollment and then return. Additionally, students who have already received the ATA Scholarship as undergraduates are not guaranteed funding if accepted to an ATA-eligible graduate program and must also reapply.

Additional grants or scholarships awarded after receiving an ATA Scholarship will cause your ATA Scholarship to be adjusted accordingly. That is, the ATA scholarship only covers outstanding tuition and fees after all other financial gifts, aid, grants, or select stipends are awarded. Conversely, if you lose any grants or scholarships while receiving ATA Scholarship funds, your ATA Scholarship will be increased to cover any newly outstanding tuition/fees.

For purposes of finalizing the amount paid out by the ATA each Fall and Spring semester, your enrollment (which determines your tuition and fees) is locked in at the end of the university's last day for a refund that semester -- which is also the last day to drop a class without receiving a grade of W. This means that any changes to your enrollment after this date will neither increase nor decrease your ATA Scholarship amount. Changes to your non-loan aid, however, will continue to impact your ATA Scholarship throughout a given semester.

For Summer sessions, the lock-in dates are as follows:

* For Five-Week 1, Six-Week 1, Seven-Week 1, Eight-Week 1, and 13-Week sessions, the lock-in date is the last refund day for Five-Week 1.
* For Five-Week 2, Six-Week 2, Seven-Week 2, Eight-Week 2, and 10-Week sessions, the lock-in date is the last refund day for Five-Week 2.

To view a given semester’s refund/drop date, please visit the Registrar's Dates and Deadlines.

You may return ATA funding disbursed for a given semester up until its last day for a refund (see the previous FAQ above), after which your award amount is locked in. To view a given semester’s refund/drop date, please visit the Registrar's Dates and Deadlines.

Please note that if you do leave the ATA prior to this deadline and decide later that you would like to be re-admitted, you will have to re-apply to the Academy as a new applicant.

The Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid (OSFA) is able to answer questions related to either the disbursement of your ATA award and/or the impact it has on the rest of your financial aid package. To send your questions, please visit OSFA’s Ask Aid email portal, where you will log in with your Student NetID, click “Submit a Question”, select the “Other” category from the dropdown list, and then select the “AZ Teachers Academy” subcategory. This ensures your questions to OSFA are routed to the correct staff member.

The scholarship may pay for classes required for your teacher preparation program but are taken during the Summer at another institution. However, approval is on a case-by-case basis, and must be obtained through a two-step process. First, the student must request approval by contacting Second, once approval is given, the student must submit a Consortium Agreement form to the Office of Scholarships and Financial Aid by the posted deadline. For more information, please visit OSFA Consortium Agreement page.

You may teach at any birth-grade 12 public or charter school in the state of Arizona. Full-time teaching positions only.

For a list of eligible schools, you may visit the Arizona Department of Education’s database on local educational agencies.

If you would like further confirmation that your school site counts toward the ATA service commitment, or do not see your site listed on the ADE database, please contact the Arizona Board of Regents at (602) 229-2500 or by email.

You have a one-year grace period from when you complete your teacher certification program. Failure to honor this service commitment within the time allotted may result in having to repay all or a portion of the ATA Scholarship you received. Full requirements, conditions, and deferment options are explained in the Scholarship Agreement, which you will sign prior to receiving the scholarship award.

Upon completing your teacher preparation program, you will have one year to begin your first year of full-time classroom teaching in any birth-grade 12 public or charter school in Arizona. This teaching commitment will be for as many academic years as you received funding.  For example, if you receive ATA funding each year over a two academic year period, then your teaching commitment is for two consecutive full school years; or if you receive funding for one semester in one academic year and another semester in another academic year, the commitment is for two consecutive school years as well.  Additionally, failure to complete your teaching program will result in the immediate repayment of the award amount you received from the ATA while at the University of Arizona.

Please note that only Fall and Spring semesters funded by the ATA count towards your commitment; sessions taken during the Summer, however — though funded by the ATA — will not.  **Due to March 2021 changes to A.R.S § 15-1655, this applies to Summer sessions taken after January 1, 2021. Any Summer sessions taken prior to that will count towards the service commitment.

Additionally, if you are a graduate student teaching full-time in an ATA-eligible school while also receiving Academy funding, this concurrent teaching will only count towards your post-graduation service commitment once you complete your teaching program at the University of Arizona.

Heartland ECSI, the state’s loan servicer, will contact all students after they graduate/exit their programs with details on how to verify employment.

For additional questions about the ATA Scholarship itself, please contact us by email.