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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Schools of National Service?
AmeriCorps’ Schools of National Service benefits both post-secondary institutions and the AmeriCorps alumni they enroll. Recognizing that AmeriCorps alumni are a valuable asset to the academic community, Schools of National Service seeks to reward their service and incentivize their education by providing benefits to students who choose to serve. In return, institutions receive students who are trained leaders, community-minded, and driven to make a difference in the world.

What are the possible benefits that qualify an institution as a School of National Service?
Options for Schools of National Service Include:

  • Tuition matching for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award (could be at the undergraduate or graduate level and could be specific to a school or program)
  • Scholarship or fellowship to AmeriCorps alumni
  • Priority points for admission consideration for AmeriCorps alumni
  • In-state tuition for AmeriCorps alumni
  • Expenses like books and supplies, room and board, or other personal costs like transportation for AmeriCorps alumni
  • One-year enrollment deferrals for individuals to serve in AmeriCorps
  • Academic credit for AmeriCorps experience
  • Other incentives that vary by institution

For Institutions

My institution previously participated in the Segal AmeriCorps Education matching program. Are we a School of National Service?
Yes, all previous matching institutions were automatically enrolled as Schools of National Service; no changes were required of institutions. However, we ask that all participating institutions review their commitment and notify AmeriCorps if they wish to make changes to their commitment. Please reach out to SegalAward@cns.gov.

Why should schools participate?
Schools of National Service benefits both post-secondary institutions and the AmeriCorps alumni they enroll. Recognizing that AmeriCorps alumni are a valuable asset to the academic community, Schools of National Service seeks to reward their service and incentivize their education by providing benefits to students who choose to serve. In return, institutions receive students who are trained leaders, community-minded, and driven to make a difference in the world.

How does a school become a School of National Service?
A post-secondary institution can qualify as a School of National Service by entering into a written commitment  to provide incentives to AmeriCorps members and alumni.

What incentives might a school offer to become a School of National Service? 
Options for Schools of National Service Include:

  • Tuition matching for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award (could be at the undergraduate or graduate level and could be specific to a school or program)
  • Scholarship or fellowship to AmeriCorps alumni
  • Priority points for admission consideration for AmeriCorps alumni
  • In-state tuition for AmeriCorps alumni
  • Expenses like books and supplies, room and board, or other personal costs like transportation for AmeriCorps alumni
  • One-year enrollment deferrals for individuals to serve in AmeriCorps
  • Academic credit for AmeriCorps experience
  • Other incentives that vary by institution

Examples of Institutional Commitments*

Tulane University
Established in 2014, the Tulane AmeriCorps Fellows program places Tulane students in AmeriCorps service positions across the City of New Orleans through the AmeriCorps VISTA program. Tulane AmeriCorps Fellows also complete a rigorous course of professional development training during their time in the program. Each fellow receives a stipend and benefits, as well as the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award following the culmination of their service.

Tufts University
Tufts University’s 1+4 Bridge Year program gives students the opportunity to integrate service into their university experience. 1+4 Bridge Year fellows spend a year performing immersive community service around the world while earning college credit. When they return to Tufts for their four years of undergrad, 1+4 Bridge Year fellows are met by a community that helps them synthesize their service year with their time at Tufts.
Note: this example could be used in collaboration with AmeriCorps or other service programs.

Baylor University – Garland School of Social Work
Baylor University Garland School of Social Work waives the application fee for all eligible AmeriCorps alumni applying to the Master of Social Work Program at the Houston and Waco Campuses. In addition, eligible AmeriCorps alumni will have the option to defer admission into the Master of Social Work Program for up to one year. Finally, up to four eligible AmeriCorps alumni admitted into the Master of Social Work program receive at least a 50% tuition discount for up to two years, while one eligible AmeriCorps alumni admitted into the Master of Social Work Program receives a 100% tuition discount for up to two years.

Texas A&M University Bush School of Government and Public Service
The Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M partners with AmeriCorps in its residential degrees for the Master of Public Service and Administration and a Master of International Affairs. The application fee is waived for AmeriCorps applicants. The school also awards a minimum scholarship of $5,000 in the first year. Applicants may earn higher levels of aid based on the merits of their application and on satisfactory academic achievement. For out-of-state students, a scholarship award also includes a non-resident tuition waiver that qualifies them for Texas residency rates. Additionally, more seasoned AmeriCorps alumni may be able to waive the professional internship requirement based on prior relevant work experience.

Fisk University
As part of its ongoing efforts supporting global and community engagement, Fisk University offers an AmeriCorps Matching Grant.

*University examples are listed as current commitments and are not an endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by AmeriCorps of the institution or the programs mentioned.

My post-secondary institution cannot match the Segal education award. Can I still participate in Schools of National Service?
Yes! There are many creative ways to participate in Schools of National Service. For example, some Schools of National Service provide deferrals to students who choose to complete a service year before entering college, while others provide AmeriCorps alumni with academic credit hours for their term of service. With Schools of National Service, there is an option for every institution.

My school has enrolled as a School of National Service. How do I get the word out to my students?
One of the best ways to advertise your institution’s Schools of National Service benefits is to partner with your school career center and financial aid office. Advertising AmeriCorps programs as a viable postgraduate, deferment, or gap year option will also allow you to educate your student body about the potential benefits they could gain from getting involved in national service.

In addition, you can advertise your involvement in Schools of National Service on your public platforms by using the Schools of National Service badge, which is available for download below. 

I work in a career center at a higher education institution. Can Schools of National Service help my advisees find jobs?
Yes; AmeriCorps is not just an opportunity to serve your country, it is also a steppingstone to a future career. AmeriCorps alumni gain leadership experience and other transferrable skills from their time in service, giving them an advantage in whatever field they choose to enter next. Upon completion of a service year, the career options for AmeriCorps alumni are endless. In addition, the network of Employers of National Service may provide job opportunities for AmeriCorps alumni as they plan their next steps after service. Consider inviting those employers to your school or for a virtual career fair. Here is a link to research that affirms the link between AmeriCorps and career.

For AmeriCorps Programs and State Commissions

I represent an AmeriCorps program and am interested in helping more schools sign up to become a School of National Service. How can I get involved?
We have resources available to help you tell higher education institutions about the Schools of National Service program. Our one pager is a great way to inform higher education or other post-secondary administrators about the benefits of Schools of National Service. You might consider reaching out to some of the following offices: Dean of Students or Schools, Communications Office, Office of Recruitment, and/or Office of Financial Aid.

Can an AmeriCorps program partner with Schools of National Service?
Absolutely! AmeriCorps programs, especially programs that already have a relationship with post-secondary institutions in their areas, are excellent messengers for the benefits of being a School of National Service while providing added benefits to their AmeriCorps members. Talk to your local post-secondary institutions about how they can get involved. Tools to help you promote Schools of National Service can be found below.

For AmeriCorps Members, Prospective Members, and Alumni

I am an AmeriCorps member/alumnus and my alma mater is not a School of National Service. How can I get involved?
We have resources available to help you tell your alma mater about the Schools of National Service program. Our one pager is a great way to inform higher education or other post-secondary administrators about the benefits of Schools of National Service. You might consider reaching out to some of the following offices: Dean of Students or Schools, Communications Office, Office of Recruitment, and/or Office of Financial Aid.

I am considering joining AmeriCorps or my child is considering AmeriCorps. What does Schools of National Service mean for me?
Schools of National Service might be a way to make college more affordable and accessible. If an AmeriCorps member goes to an education award matching School of National Service, they can enhance their Segal Education Award. Other Schools of National Service might provide benefits such as academic credit for AmeriCorps service, priority admission points, or subsidized room and board or a textbook stipend. Explore our list of participating schools to see what benefits might be available.

I am considering taking a gap year. How can Schools of National Service help me?
Participating Schools of National Service can offer a range of benefits to make it easier to take a gap year, such as expanded deferment or financial incentives. Explore our list of participating schools to see what benefits might be available.

I am an AmeriCorps member and I don’t know if I want to go to college after my term of service. Is the Schools of National Service network still for me?
Yes! You don’t have to use your Segal Education Award right away; you have 7 years to use it. If you eventually decide to pursue a higher education or other post-secondary program, you can use the Schools of National Service network to maximize the benefits of your service term. Explore our list of participating schools to see what benefits might be available.

Segal AmeriCorps Education Award Data

AmeriCorps wants the brightest future for our members: if you serve your country, we award you money for school. To date, AmeriCorps has helped more than a half million Americans pursue their dream of higher education.

AmeriCorps members are eligible for a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award after successful completion of a service term. The award can be used to pay for college or vocational school, to pay back qualified student loans, or in some cases can be transferred to children or grandchildren. The dollar amount of a full-time education award is tied to the maximum amount of the U.S. Department of Education's Pell Grant. AmeriCorps members may earn up to the value of two, full-time education awards and have seven years from the date they receive the award to use it.

Since 1994, AmeriCorps alumni have earned more than $4 billion in education awards. For decades, these education payments have strengthened institutions and helped Americans pursue their dream of higher education by making it more accessible and affordable.

Top 25 Higher Education Institutions -- By Payment

Top 25 higher education institutions by payments (2020)

Download 2020 Schools of Service data


Want to know how much your institution has received in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards?

AmeriCorps can provide an estimate of how much your institution has received in Segal AmeriCorps Education Award payments over the last 25 years. If you need more information, email SegalAward@cns.gov.

Follow this link to a summary of payments and alumni by institution and this link for detailed information on payments. Organizations and individuals can download the data for further analysis by selecting the export button in the top right of the dataset, just below the search bar. From there, the type of file can be selected including options for CSV and CSV for excel being most common. If you have any questions about the datasets, please contact opendata@cns.gov.

By accessing the contents on this website, you acknowledge and accept the terms of use that governs the data released and disseminated through the AmeriCorps' data sharing platform. The contents on this website must be used for informational purposes only. As a data user, you acknowledge and agree that AmeriCorps is not responsible or liable for any inaccuracies, errors or omissions arising out of your use of the data released through this website. Any data analysis, opinions or conclusions expressed based on the data are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of AmeriCorps or the United States Government.