These are the basic principles around the use of the Education Award. Items that are changing under the Serve America Act are noted.

You can also learn about the process for accessing your funds once you have completed service.

  • The amount of the award varies depending on your stream of service (AmeriCorps state and national, VISTA, NCCC), when your service began, and other factors. Confirm the amount of your award with your national service program director.
  • Use at specific types of schools
  • Use to repay eligible loans for school (not private loans or credit cards)
  • Expires seven years after you receive it (you might be able to receive an extension)
  • You can't transfer the award to someone else (with an exception; see below)
  • Transferability: You can give the award to someone else if you are 55 or older and certain conditions are met (Does not apply to VISTA)
  • Multiple terms: You can receive awards up to the value of two full-time awards in a lifetime, serving in full-time, part-time, and summer positions
  • Use all at once or in partial amounts
  • Subject to taxes when you use it
  • For information on the amount, visit the site's Serve America Act resource
  • Since the award can be used only for current educational expenses, you cannot use it to cover past balances in your school account. (You can, however, use the award on qualified student loans.)

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