Created in 1993, AmeriCorps also oversees AmeriCorps Seniors. Together these programs enroll more than 250,000 Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service each year.
AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engages Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment. AmeriCorps members serve through nonprofits, public agencies, and faith-based organizations. They tutor and mentor youth, build affordable housing, teach computer skills, clean parks and streams, run after-school programs, and help communities respond to disasters.
AmeriCorps is made up of three programs: AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA, and AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).
- During full-time service, AmeriCorps members receive a modest living allowance, health coverage, and child care for those who qualify.
- After successfully completing a year of service, they receive an education award of $4,725. This award can be used to pay off student loans or finance college, graduate school, or vocational training.
- AmeriCorps members must be U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, or lawful permanent residents of the U.S. and be at least 18 years of age.
The educational benefits of the Peace Corps primarily target graduate students or students who have done some undergraduate work. While most Peace Corps assignments require a college degree, there are positions for students who have either not begun or not completed a bachelor's degree program.
Peace Corps Basics
Volunteers in the Peace Corps can expect the following during terms of service:
- transportation to and from the country where service is provided;
- a monthly living allowance to cover housing and other basic needs;
- a 15% cancellation of the outstanding balance on Federal Perkins loans for each year of service;
- possible deferment of Federal Stafford loans, Federal Perkins loans, or Federal Consolidation loans;
- $7,425 after the completion of three months of training and two years of Volunteer service;
- 24 vacation days per year;
- comprehensive medical and dental coverage; and
- reasonably priced health insurance plan for up to 18 months after completion of volunteer service.
Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program
The Paul D. Coverdell Fellows Program offers Volunteers who have returned home scholarships or reduced tuition in advanced degree programs at more than 30 participating colleges and universities across the country. In return for these educational benefits, Fellows commit to work for two years in an underserved community as they pursue their graduate degree. Volunteers can apply for the Fellows/USA Program at any time after their Peace Corps service.