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Submitted by nicky.campbell on Tue, 11/24/2020 - 05:20

About the Education Award

After successfully completing your AmeriCorps term of service and enrolling in the National Service Trust, you are eligible to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. You can use the award to repay qualified student loans and to pay current educational expenses at eligible institutions of higher education and training programs.

Fast facts
A pile of money

$4B

in education awards earned by AmeriCorps members to pay for college

Students throwing mortar hats into the air

$1M+

education awards paid annually to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs)

Woman wearing a mortar board hat and gown standing in front of a building

The value of an Education Award

The amount of a full-time Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is equivalent to the maximum value of the Pell Grant for the fiscal year in which the term of national service is approved.  The amount of the Pell Grant can change each year. Therefore, the amount of a full-time award can change. Once an individual earns an award, the dollar amount of that award will not change. The award amount varies based on the term of service completed.

Find out more

Ways you can use your Educational Award

Pay educational expenses

You can use your education award to pay current educational expenses at eligible schools and at certain GI Bill-approved educational programs for veterans.

Eligible schools are higher educational institutions, both domestic and foreign, that currently participate in the Department of Education’s Title IV student aid programs.   This category includes most post-secondary colleges, universities, and technical schools.

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Repay qualified student loans

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award can only be used to repay the qualified student loans listed below:

  • Loans backed by the federal government under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (except PLUS Loans to parents of students)
  • Loans under Titles VII or VIII of the Public Service Health Act
  • Loans made by a state agency, including state institutions of higher education

Things you should know

Extending your award's use period

You must use the Education Award within a seven year period. In special cases, an alumnus can extend the use period for the Education Award, limitations apply.

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Transfer your award

Education Awards can be transferred from alumni to family members under specific conditions. Read more about how to transfer your Education Award.

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Tax implications

All payments made using the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award are subject to federal tax in the year each payment is made. 

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Education Award eligibility

The amount of a full-time Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is equivalent to the maximum value of the Pell Grant for the fiscal year in which the term of national service is approved.  The amount of the Pell Grant can change each year.  Therefore, the amount of a full-time award can change.  Once an individual earns an award, the dollar amount of that award will not change.  The award amount for less than half-time service programs varies based on the required terms of service. 

Anyone who completes a term of service within a 12-month period, in one of the following programs, is eligible to earn an education award.

  • AmeriCorps NCCC
  • AmeriCorps State and National
  • AmeriCorps VISTA*

*VISTA members who complete a term of service within a 12-month period may be eligible to choose a cash option in place of the education award.

Education Award limitations

There are limitations on the number of terms an individual can serve in each AmeriCorps program, and on the maximum value of education awards one individual can receive. 

Current limits on number of terms an individual can serve:

  • AmeriCorps NCCC- no limit on service terms, but members may NOT serve more than two consecutive NCCC terms without a break of at least 10 months before serving again
  • AmeriCorps State and National- four terms
  • AmeriCorps VISTA- five total years of service

 

Although an individual can serve more than two terms, a person cannot earn more than the aggregate value of two, full-time education awards.

Each term of service for which an individual earns an education award counts as one term of service in computing the term limitations.  This includes terms for which a member earns a full-time, half-time, and any other type part-time or prorated education award.  A prorated education award is an award that may be earned when an individual, for reasons beyond his or her control, cannot complete the entire service period.  Generally, if a member is released before completing a term of service and does not receive the education award, that term counts as one of the terms served. 

Find a school

Make your education award go further. Certain schools will provide scholarship or a match for AmeriCorps alumni with the Education Award. 

Your benefits

Learn more about the benefits that you’re eligible to receive while serving with AmeriCorps.

Find out more

Education Award FAQs

Still have questions about the Education Award? Are you an institution that processes award payments? Read our most frequently asked questions.

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