More “Free” Money for College 3: Americorps Volunteer Service

AmeriCorps offers you an opportunity to join one of their many community service programs throughout the United States. As a full or part-time member of the AmeriCorps network, you will earn a set amount of money to be used for college tuition or loan repayment. Here is an excerpt from their website:

After successfully completing a term of service, AmeriCorps members who are enrolled in the National Service Trust are eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. You can use your education award to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, for educational training, or to repay qualified student loans.

Did you hop online and look up the amount of the Education Award? If so, you are probably thinking, “Why would I want to put in a full year’s work to receive that relatively small amount of college money? I could earn more than that by working for 12 months at minimum wage!” While it’s true that the award amount is not colossal, there are other benefits to joining AmeriCorps:

  •  You will gain valuable life experience while helping others in need.
  •  Your “valuable life experience” will look impressive on future scholarship applications and will give you material for insightful essays.
  •  Being an AmeriCorps Alumni will make you eligible for additional scholarships.
  •  Being an AmeriCorps Alumni will make you eligible for loan forgiveness.
  •  Many colleges across the U.S. will match the amount of your AmeriCorps award.
  •  Your assignment could help you progress further in your chosen career area.
  •  Your living expenses are often covered while enrolled in AmeriCorps. How much of the money from that minimum wage job will you be able to save for your education if you want to escape your parents?

Check back soon for more in this series on other ways to get some of that “free” money for college.

Photo: NPS

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