Here are some key points from the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act that affect the financial benefits of VISTAs and AmeriCorps members. This resource will be updated as new changes go into effect.
- The amount of the Eli Segal AmeriCorps Education Award will now be tied to the maximum amount of the Pell Grant. This means that members will receive awards of different values depending on when they begin service and their national service program.
- The amount of a full-time award for VISTA members is currently $5,920.
- VISTA Only: The end-of-service stipend for VISTA members who chose this option instead of the education award will accrue at the rate of $125 per month of service. For VISTA Leaders, the end-of-service stipend will accrue at the rate of $250 per month of service.
- AmeriCorps Only: The amount of the Eli Segal AmeriCorps Education Award can vary from year-to-year. Ask your AmeriCorps program staff for the amount you'll receive.
- The bill as passed does not eliminate the taxes on the education award.
- There will be limited transferability of the Education Award. Members 55 and older can give their awards to a child, a grandchild, or foster child. (AmeriCorps VISTAs and NCCC members are not eligible for this benefit - only AmeriCorps State and National members). More information is availble on the Tranferring Your Education Award page.
- Members are able to serve multiple terms and earn up to the value of two full Education Awards. A member will be able to serve multiple part-time, Summer of Service, Silver Scholar, or Summer Associate-type terms and receive Education Awards up to the value of two full awards.
- The law removes the consideration of an individual's veterans' benefits when determining the maximum amount of an individuals education award that may be disbursed to an institution of higher education.