Your AmeriCorps benefits include an education award, loan forbearance, and interest payment coverage.
Education Award of up to $11,100
Most corps members are eligible to receive an education award of at least $5,550 per year after successfully completing each year of teaching (totaling $11,100). You can use the education award toward:
- Repayment of qualified student loans (a loan in your name provided by a federal or state agency)
- Payment of current or future educational expenses at a Title IV institution of higher education (includes most colleges and universities)
Many corps members use their education award to cover the costs of coursework required to obtain their teaching certification. For more details about certification costs in our 46 regions, download our regional comparison spreadsheet.
Those who have already served in an AmeriCorps program may be ineligible to receive an education award. Additionally, several colleges and universities across the country match the AmeriCorps education award for their undergraduate or graduate students. See the full list.
Loan Forbearance on Qualified Student Loans
Loan forbearance provides the opportunity for corps members to postpone regular monthly loan payments during their two-year commitment. You can use loan forbearance to save for a major expense (car, grad school, etc.), pay off loans more efficiently, or put money toward other responsibilities.
AmeriCorps only guarantees forbearance for qualified loans – those provided through state or federal agencies. However, several private lenders have determined that AmeriCorps membership is a valid reason for loan forbearance. Ultimately, for private loans, it’s at the lender’s discretion whether to grant forbearance.
Loans that are in forbearance still continue to accrue interest. AmeriCorps will pay 100% of the interest that accrues on your qualified student loans (those provided through a federal or state agency) while you’re in the corps. Interest payments will not be deducted from your AmeriCorps education award.
Both loan forbearance and interest payment are subject to eligibility. Learn more about loan forbearance and interest payments through AmeriCorps.
Teach For America is currently a member of AmeriCorps. Given the nature of the AmeriCorps competitive grant process and the dependence on Congressional -funding cycles, we cannot guarantee these benefits for corps members serving during the 2013-2014 school year until receiving final confirmation in June 2013. Recent changes in national service laws may result in an adjustment to the education award for the 2013-2014 year.
Per regulations, the AmeriCorps education award and interest accrual payments are considered to be taxable income for the year they are used.
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Regional Comparison Spreadsheet
Compare costs across our 46 regions.