Will I get any training before I start?
Absolutely. All members receive training at the beginning of their service, as well as project-specific training during service.
Do I get paid?
Full-time AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance for service and health care. All AmeriCorps members who successfully complete a term of service also receive an AmeriCorps Education Award.
What is the maximum amount of an education award?
The maximum amount of a full-time education award is equivalent to the maximum amount of the Pell Grant for the year for which the national service position was approved. To determine the amount of each AmeriCorps education award, CNCS will use the amount of the Pell Grant as of the first day of the Federal fiscal year (i.e., October 1st) in the fiscal year in which that national service position is approved.
For what purposes can the education award be used?
The education award can be used in one of, or a combination of, the following ways:
To repay qualified student loans.
To pay all or part of the current education expenses to attend eligible institutions of higher education (including certain vocational schools) and educational programs approved under the G.I. Bills.
Can I join if I'm not a U.S. citizen?
For AmeriCorps State and National and AmeriCorps NCCC you must be a U.S. citizen, U.S. national, or legal permanent resident alien of the United States to be an AmeriCorps member. For AmeriCorps VISTA, you must have one of the following citizenship statuses: U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens, or persons legally residing in a state that have the following legal residency classifications: refugee, asylum or asylee, temporary protected status or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status. By law, only VISTA members who are either U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, or Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens—sometimes referred to as “Lawful Permanent Residents”—are eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Segal Education Award. All other members will receive an end of service cash stipend.
Are there any loan forgiveness programs or repayment plans that I might qualify for as an AmeriCorps member?
On September 27, 2007, President Bush signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (“CCRAA”) into law. In addition to other amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965, the CCRAA created two new federal programs: a new Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and a new Income-Based Repayment plan (IBR) for the repayment of federal loans. The new Income-Based Repayment plan helps to make repaying education loans more affordable for low-income borrowers, such as an
AmeriCorps Member living on a stipend; AmeriCorps service is also recognized as equivalent to a public service job for the purposes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Can I defer student loans during my service with AmeriCorps?
Members may qualify for postponement, or forbearance, of the repayment of their loans during service. The education award will help you pay off qualified student loans when you're finished. You may also qualify to have the interest accrued on your student loans during service paid for by the National Service Trust. Contact your lender for more specific information or to confirm your loan status during AmeriCorps service.