Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship Program

Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship Program is a student financial aid program designed to enable and encourage students to pursue teaching careers at the pre-school, elementary, middle or secondary school level.

Undergraduate and graduate scholarships, not to exceed $5,000 per academic year, are awarded on the basis of academic qualifications and interest in teaching. The purpose of the program is to assist West Virginians interested in obtaining a teaching certificate and committed to the pursuit of a teaching career in West Virginia's public schools. Due to limited funding, priority is given to junior, senior, and graduate students. Awards are contingent upon annual funding of the program by the West Virginia State Legislature.




Applications become available October 1st with a deadline of March 1st and students must reapply every year.


Grade Report Form PDF icon
(needed for private schools only)

Award Criteria

Applicants must be West Virginia residents who are or will be enrolled on a full-time basis in an accredited institution of higher education in West Virginia pursuing a course of study leading to a teacher certificate at the preschool, middle, or secondary level in West Virginia.

Recipients of the Underwood-Smith Teacher Scholarship must agree to teach at the public pre-school, elementary, middle or secondary school level in West Virginia for two years for each year of scholarship assistance. However, if a scholar enters a teacher shortage area, an exceptional children's program, a school having less than average academic results or a school in an economically disadvantaged area as designated by the West Virginia Board of Education, then the scholar must teach one year for each year for which the scholarship was received.

There are also limited provisions for meeting the teaching requirement through alternative service. Students who fail to meet the teaching or alternative service requirements are required to repay the scholarship received plus interest and any required collection fees.

Forms for Current or Past Scholars

Enrollment Verification FormPDF icon
Employment Verification FormPDF icon


Program Contact Information

Financial Aid Program Staff
1018 Kanawha Blvd. East, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 558-4618 or 1 (877) 987-7664