How does the AmeriCorps Education Award process work?

To qualify for an AmeriCorps Education Award, an AmeriCorps member must successfully complete the required "term of service" for the program in which he or she is enrolled.

An Award can be used in the following ways:

  1. To repay qualified student loans

  2. To pay for CURRENT educational expenses--all or part of the cost of attending a qualified institution of higher education

The amount of an Award depends upon the length of service--whether the term of service is full-time or part-time. The full-time award is $4,725.00, and the part-time award is $2,362.50. Occasionally, a special program will be offered (for example, a summer program) that includes a "reduced part-time" award.  The Award must be used within seven years of the completion of the national service and it can be divided up and used any way the AmeriCorps alum chooses, as long as it is for authorized expenditures, such as current educational expenses and payments on qualified student loans.  The AmeriCorps alum must first authorize the payment and then you, the loan holder or school, must complete the rest of the information before sending the payment request back to the National Service Trust for payment.  These payments will be made directly to the school or loan holder, not to the individual.


AmeriCorps members who are earning an Award may be eligible to postpone having to make payments of the principal and interest on their qualified student loans while they are serving.  During this period of forbearance, interest continues to accrue on the loan.  However, if the individual successfully completes the term of service and earns an Award, the Trust will pay all or a portion of the interest that accrued.  When an AmeriCorps alum requests an Interest Accrual payment, the loan holder needs to enter in the amount of interest that accrued on the Interest Accrual request, so that the correct payment can be made to that Institution.