CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Current high school seniors who are interested in becoming teachers in West Virginia have until Dec. 31 of this year to apply for the state’s newest teaching scholarship.

The Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars Program provides up to $10,000 per year, or $40,000 total, for 25 new scholars each year. This will be the third year that the scholarship program has been available.

The Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholarship Program is the only West Virginia scholarship that is open to both in-state and out-of-state applicants. It is designed to help West Virginia address ongoing teacher shortages in the fields of math, science, special education and elementary education.

Recipients commit to teaching in one of these high-demand fields in West Virginia for at least five years after graduation. To give students the greatest chance at success, each is paired with a practicing classroom teacher mentor, who provides guidance throughout their college careers.

“Teaching is one of the most important and rewarding careers a student can choose to pursue. Our Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars represent West Virginia’s most promising future teachers, and we’re ready to welcome even more to these impressive ranks,” said Dr. Sarah Armstrong Tucker, West Virginia’s Chancellor of Higher Education. “Across our state and the country, we’re looking for the best and brightest high school students who are ready to inspire future students – just like their own teachers have inspired them.”

The Underwood-Smith award is also stackable with other forms of financial aid. For example, a West Virginia resident who receives the Promise Scholarship as well ($4,750 per year) receives nearly $15,000 per year to help pay for college.