What is the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award and How Does it Work?

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a financial aid program that helps individuals pay for the cost of attending a qualified higher education institution. It can be used to cover tuition, fees, and other related expenses that are not covered by other sources of financial aid, such as scholarships, loans, and grants. The Department of Education developed the term cost of attendance for use by Title IV schools. There are certain limitations on the number of terms a person can serve in each AmeriCorps program and on the maximum value of educational awards a person can receive.

Each period of service for which an individual earns an education award counts as a period of service when calculating term limitations. The amount of a full-time Segal AmeriCorps education award is equivalent to the maximum value of the Pell Grant for the fiscal year in which the national service period is approved. It may take some work to find the ideal school in an attractive location that accepts your education award. Global Service Corps offers an overseas service experience with optional college credits and the ability to use your education grant to pay for program fees, airline tickets and related expenses.

College credits are also available for all programs, although you don't need to earn credits to use the educational award. NOLS accepts AmeriCorps educational awards for these courses and can even match enrollment to a one-semester or one-year course. You can receive college credit through the University of Montana for most courses and use your education grant to pay for them. After successfully completing your term of service with AmeriCorps and enrolling in the National Service Trust, you are eligible to receive the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. To pay for CURRENT educational expenses, that is, all or part of the cost of attending a qualified higher education institution.

While a person can serve more than two terms, they cannot earn more than the added value of two full-time education awards. All payments made with the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award are subject to federal taxes in the year in which each payment is made. They're more likely to accept the award if you live in student housing, but contact your financial aid office to determine if they'll accept the award.

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