When you are sending Education Award funds to a school, the National Service Trust by law must send it in two equal disbursements: The first is immediate and the second gets sent at the middle of the enrollment period.

In other words, if you request $1,000 from your Education Award to be sent to your school, $500 will be sent when you request it. The school will receive the second $500 midway through the term or semester.

Why this is important to know

If money due to the school from your Education Award is due at the start of classes and doesn't arrive until later, you may rack up late payment charges. Work with your school to let them know that the funds are coming from an AmeriCorps Education Award account and are disbursed in this manner.

Another strategy: If you are planning to use $1,000 per semester for two semesters, you might want to request $2,000 from your award to be sent to the school. That way, $1,000 arrives in time for the first semester to begin, and the second $1,000 is deposited into your account prior to the beginning of the second semester.

Using the award for other educational expenses

Understanding how the disbursement works is also important to know if you are using the award to purchase a computer or other educational equipment allowable under "cost of attendance." Half of the funds you request won't arrive until several weeks after classes begin, so plan accordingly!

A single disbursement on loans

If you are using your award to pay on student loans, the National Service Trust will send the full amount you request -- and not break the disbursement into smaller payments.

Where to find the law

You can find the legal language regarding disbursement of national service Education Awards.


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