On September 27, 2007, President Bush signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (“CCRAA”) into law. In addition to other amendments to the Higher Education Act of 1965, the CCRAA created two new federal programs: a new Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and a new Income-Based Repayment plan (IBR) for the repayment of federal loans.
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 AmeriCorps service.
Some programs have specific skill requests in certain areas, and others look for a bachelor's degree or a few years of related volunteer/job experience. For others, your motivation and commitment may be the primary requirement.
You must be at least 17 years old, although some service opportunities require you to be at least 18. For one of our programs, the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC), members must be between 18 and 24 years old, but for most there are no upper age limits.
You must be a U.S. citizen, national, or legal permanent resident alien of the U.S. to be an AmeriCorps member.
The time commitment varies, from ten months to a year, depending upon your project. Most assignments are full-time, but there are some part-time service opportunities available.
If you're part of AmeriCorps VISTA, you may opt for a cash payment of $100 per month of service instead of the education award. All other AmeriCorps members are eligible only for the education award.
For all AmeriCorps programs, members receive a modest living allowance, and some programs provide housing. You may not save much money during your year of service, but most members find the living allowance to be adequate to cover their needs. AmeriCorps members who complete a term of service also receive an AmeriCorps Education Award.
Yes. AmeriCorps is often referred to as "the domestic Peace Corps." Both agencies are committed to service, and both offer challenging and rewarding full-time opportunities. Peace Corps assignments are all overseas, and AmeriCorps members serve only in the US. While Peace Corps Volunteers serve for two years, a stint in AmeriCorps usually lasts 10 months to one year. (Some AmeriCorps projects also offer part-time opportunities, and some AmeriCorps members serve more than one term of service.)