You can serve as a VISTA for up to five years. However, you can only earn up to the value of two education awards. If you earn full-value of two education awards and serve additional years, you must choose the cash stipend.
The timeline depends on several factors. First, VISTA applications are reviewed by each project that you apply to. If the project and you both agree that the VISTA position is a good match for you, then the State Office will review your application. Once everyone agrees, you will then be officially accepted and will receive information about your pre-service orientation (PSO).
To apply for a VISTA position, you will need to create a profile in our online recruitment system. Next, you can search for positions that meet your interest and location requirements. You can apply for several positions with the same application. To start the process, click here. Also read the tutorial, How to Apply to AmeriCorps VISTA.
You may qualify for postponement, or forbearance, of the repayment of your loans during your service. The education award will help you pay off qualified student loans when you're finished. Contact your lender for more specific information or to confirm your loan status during VISTA service.
Absolutely. All VISTAs receive pre-service training, as well as project-specific training during service. At the pre-service orientation (PSO), VISTAs meet and network with fellow VISTAs to cultivate support systems that are valuable throughout the year of service. Additionally, skill sets are honed and developed to prepare you for life as an AmeriCorps VISTA member.