Americorps Education Award

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The AmeriCorps Education Award is granted to members who are serving, part-time or full-time, in participating programs through AmeriCorps. After completing a term of service, AmeriCorps members are eligible to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans.[1] The current maximum award is $5,920.00 as of October 1, 2017.[2]

Serve America Act of 2009[edit]

The Serve America Act, implemented by Congress and effective October 1, 2009, made important changes to the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. Changes include increasing the amount of the award by tying its value to the maximum Pell Grant, expanding its available uses, and authorizing transferability of the award for certain individuals. Though not all changes were implemented by October 2009, rules were finalized in 2010. Under the new act, the education award can be used to pay expenses while participating in an approved school-to-work program in addition to the previous uses towards qualified student loans and university education expenses. Also, for certain AmeriCorps programs, AmeriCorps State and National and Silver Service education awards earned after October 1, 2009 are eligible for transfer to members' child, grandchild, or foster child, if the member was at least 55 years old when enrolled and began service after that date.[3]

The Corporation for National and Community Service is also in the process of developing new term limits. Currently, members may only participate in AmeriCorps and receive an education award for a maximum of two years but new rules may allow for AmeriCorps members serving part-time to serve for more than two terms. An AmeriCorps member may use their education award up to seven years after ending their service but will be taxed for the year in which they use their award. However, members may qualify to use the Hope Scholarship Credit or the Lifelong Learning Credit which may provide significant tax relief.[4]

Qualified loans[edit]

Most postsecondary loans backed by the federal government are eligible for repayment with these awards. They include:

  • Stafford Loans
  • Perkins Loan
  • William D. Ford Direct Loans
  • Federal Consolidated Loans
  • Supplemental Loans for Students
  • Health Education Assistance Loans
  • Loans from state agencies, or state institutions of higher education

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Qualified schools[edit]

A school is qualified to accept the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award if it is a Title IV institution (this includes most colleges, universities, and graduate schools).[6]

Notes[edit]

External links[edit]