AmeriCorps Education Award

What is the AmeriCorps Education Award?
The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a benefit VISTA, AmeriCorps, and NCCC members receive upon successful completion of their term of service. This education award can be used to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education, to pay for educational training, and to repay qualified student loans. You can make payments from your award in full or in part, and you can take up to seven years after your term of service has ended to use your award. There are general terms that guide the use of the award and a process to follow to access your funds. The award is subject to taxes. (Note: The award cannot be applied to private loans or parent plus loans. For a list of eligible loans see: http://www.nationalservice.gov/resources/ed-award/list-eligible-loans)

How much is the AmeriCorps Education Award?
The amount of a full-time education award is generally equivalent to the maximum value of the Pell Grant for the award year in which the term of service is funded. The Education Award for full-time service in 2015-16 is $5,730.

Is the Education Award taxable?
Yes! Individuals incur tax liability for the year(s) in which they use the award. For this reason, many people decided to not use the entire award within a single year. The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) will send you a 1099 Miscellaneous Income Form if this amount is $600 or more. Please be sure to notify and send this form to anyone who helps with your taxes. Failure to report this miscellaneous income in your taxes will be followed up on by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and may come with additional fees. CNCS is a federal agency and reports the use of these funds directly to the IRS. Note: Any interest CNCS pays on loans that were put into forbearance during the service year is also taxable. You can request to have this interest paid at the same time you get access to your Ed Award upon successful completion of the service year.

What are the requirements to receive an Education Award?
The JV AmeriCorps member must accrue 1700 hours of qualified service, satisfactorily complete mid-year and end of the year performance evaluations along with site supervisors, and satisfactorily fulfill commitments as outlined by the member contract.

Is there a limit to the amount of Education Awards an individual can receive?
Yes. An individual may not receive more than the aggregate value of two full-time awards. Upon acceptance in the JVC Northwest AmeriCorps Program, please let program staff know if you have already been awarded the equivalent of more than one full-time service Education Award. This will help with the enrollment process.

How can I use the AmeriCorps Education Award?
The education award can be used to repay qualified student loans and to pay education costs at qualified institutions of higher education and training programs.
You can find comprehensive information on using the Ed Award at http://edaward.org/, including more on what kinds of loans can be repaid with the Ed Award. A person has seven years to use the award and it is taxable. You do not have to use it all in one year. This site also gives information on whether or not one might be able to use the award in nontraditional ways, e.g., buy a computer.

For more FAQs on the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award:

Posted in: 5. AmeriCorps Program FAQs