|Alternative Way to Pay for College - Serve in AmeriCorps|
AmeriCorps is a domestic service organization in which thousands of young men and women are working in community service projects around the country in exchange for a living allowance averaging $7,500 per year; health care; child care when needed; and an education award of $4,725 per year for paying back a student loan or for financing postsecondary education. Under some circumstances a person can serve part time and receive an education award of $2,362 per year.
AmeriCorps projects serve communities throughout the country. All meet at least one of four national priorities: (1) education; (2) public safety; (3) human needs; and (4) the environment. For example, AmeriCorps members teach state-of-the-art computer skills to teenagers, tutor grade-school children in basic reading, or organize innovative after-school programs in some of the education projects. AmeriCorps members in environmental projects clean up urban streams and inland waterways, monitor dangerous trends in air quality, or test-start city-wide recycling programs.
After successfully completing a term of service, AmeriCorps members who are enrolled in the National Service Trust are eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. You can use your education award to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act made changes to the maximum amount of the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. The amount is now tied to the maximum amount of the U.S. Department of Education’s Pell Grant. For terms of service which are approved using 2009 funds (or earlier funds) the award continues to be $4,725 for a year of full-time service, and is pro-rated for part-time service based on the full-time amount. For terms of service that are supported with 2010 funds the award value increases to $5,350.00. You can make payments from your award in full or part, and can take up to seven years after your term of service has ended to use your award. To confirm the award amount for which you are eligible.
There are many different points in a person's educational career when participation in AmeriCorps is an option: right after high school; during or after college; and during or after graduate school or occupational training. AmeriCorps members are recruited locally and nationally. To find out more about AmeriCorps, call the AmeriCorps Hotline free of charge at 1-800-94-ACORPS (1-800-942-2677) or TDD 1-800-833-3722. You may also visit the AmeriCorps web site at: http://www.americorps.gov/.
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