As a Teach For America corps member you may be eligible for concurrent enrollment as an AmeriCorps member during one or both years of your commitment. Corps members must meet citizenship and service term requirements to be eligible for AmeriCorps membership and subsequent access to AmeriCorps benefits. AmeriCorps enrollment is contingent on federal funding and given the nature of the AmeriCorps competitive grant process and the dependence on Congressional funding cycles, we cannot guarantee the following benefits to any corps member. Assuming AmeriCorps does not experience drastic budget cuts, the majority of Teach For America corps members will be AmeriCorps members and have access to benefits including an education award, loan forbearance, and interest payment coverage.
If there is a shortfall of funding we will prioritize the allocation of existing AmeriCorps benefits to:
- Those who have qualified federal or state student loans
- Those who teach in a region with certification costs over $5000
We are committed to making Teach For America a financially viable option for everyone.
Education Award of up to $11,100
Upon successful completion each year as an AmeriCorps member, most corps members are eligible to receive an education award, the maximum amount of which is $5,550 per year (totaling $11,100)*. AmeriCorps education awards can only be used toward:
- Repayment of qualified student loans (a loan in your name provided by a federal or state agency) and/or
- Payment of current or future educational expenses at a Title IV institution of higher education (includes most colleges and universities)
Learn the full details of the AmeriCorps education award. Many corps members use their education award to help cover the costs of coursework required to obtain their teaching certification. For more details about certification costs in our 48 regions, download our regional comparison spreadsheet.
*Those who have already served in an AmeriCorps program/s and earned previous education awards may be ineligible to receive additional education awards. 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
AmeriCorps' loan forbearance benefit provides the opportunity for corps members to postpone regular monthly loan payments while serving as an AmeriCorps member. 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 up to 100% of the interest that accrues on your qualified student loans (those provided through a federal or state agency) after each successful year serving as an AmeriCorps member. Interest payments will not be deducted from your AmeriCorps education award.
Both loan forbearance and interest payment are subject to eligibility. Learn more about AmeriCorps' loan forbearance and interest accrual payment benefits.
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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