JB Pritzker, Governor, State of Illinois

Volunteering

AmeriCorps

Created in 1993, AmeriCorps is part of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which also oversees Senior Corps and Learn and Serve America. Together these programs engage more than 2 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds in service each year.

AmeriCorps is a network of national service programs that engages more than 40,000 Americans each year in intensive service to meet critical needs in education, public safety, health, and the environment.   AmeriCorps members serve through more than 2,100 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.

Peace Corps

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.

Universities and Programs

Master's International Program

The Master's International Program allows students to incorporate Peace Corps service into master's degree programs at more than 40 colleges and universities across the country. Prospective student-volunteers apply separately to the Peace Corps and participating graduate schools. Once accepted by both, they fulfill on-campus studies, usually for one year, and then spend the following two years earning academic credit while working on a relevant Peace Corps project. Most schools provide students with opportunities for research or teaching assistantships, scholarships, or a tuition waiver for the cost of credits earned while in the Peace Corps.

Master’s International Program Schools