FAQs for Individuals
Is AmeriCorps like the Peace Corps?
Yes. AmeriCorps is often referred to as “the domestic Peace Corps.” Both agencies are committed to service, and both offer challenging and rewarding full-time opportunities. The differences between the programs are where you’ll serve and the length of your service commitment. Peace Corps assignments are all overseas and require a two-year service commitment. AmeriCorps members serve 10 – 12 months at locations across the U.S.
What are the benefits of serving in AmeriCorps?
AmeriCorps is a pathway to economic opportunity that provides members with valuable skills specific to their service as well as general skills of leadership and problem-solving that employers are looking for. While serving in AmeriCorps, members earn a modest living allowance and are eligible to place their qualified student loans into forbearance during their service term. Full-time members are eligible for health and child care benefits (must qualify for child care benefits). In exchange for a successful term of service, AmeriCorps members earn an Education Award that can be used to pay for college or pay back student loans.
Are there eligibility requirements?
To be eligible to serve as an AmeriCorps member, an individual must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen, U.S. national or lawful permanent resident alien of the United States.
- Be at least 17 years old – There is no upper age limit.
- Have earned a high school diploma or GED or agree in writing to obtain one while serving.
What skills do I need to have?
The short answer is no. Some programs have specific skill requests, some seek volunteers who hold a bachelor’s degree or have a few years of related volunteer/job experience, but many of our programs only require motivation and commitment. AmeriCorps has a program to fit your skill level, interests and passion.
Will I receive training prior to starting?
Absolutely. All members receive training at the beginning of their service, as well as project-specific training throughout their service.
How long are the service assignments?
The time commitment varies, from nine months to a year, depending upon your project. Most assignments are full-time, but there are some part-time service opportunities available. The majority of programs offer full and half-time opportunities:
- Full-Time Members: must complete at least 1700 hours within a 12 month period.
- Half-Time Members: must complete at least 900 hours within a 9-12 month period.
Can an AmeriCorps member have another job or be enrolled in school while serving?
Yes, AmeriCorps members may have another job or be enrolled in school while serving in an AmeriCorps program if the host site permits. Members who retain employment outside of their AmeriCorps service or who are enrolled in school should discuss their schedule with their site supervisor to ensure they will be able to fulfill their service hour requirements. Members who exit their term of service early to pursue outside employment opportunities or to enroll in school will not be eligible to receive the education award.
How many terms of service may a member serve?
Members can serve a maximum of 4 terms.
How many education awards can a member earn?
A member may earn the value of up to 2 full-time education awards.
How do AmeriCorps members access their education award?
To access and manage their education award, members must register with the My AmeriCorps Portal.
How do AmeriCorps members place their student loan into forbearance?
After the AmeriCorps member is enrolled, they will create an account in the My AmeriCorps Portal and place their loans into forbearance.
I’m interested in donating to Oklahoma AmeriCorps, where can I make my tax-deductible contribution?
Please visit the Donate section of the web site.
Where do I find out about AmeriCorps funding opportunities?
To learn more about what’s available, eligibility, responsibilities and new grant opportunities, visit the Funding Opportunities section of the site.
What are the benefits of hosting an AmeriCorps Member?
AmeriCorps strengthens nonprofits, community organizations, schools and the local communities they serve. Organizations host AmeriCorps members to expand services, build capacity, raise funds, develop new partnerships and create innovative, sustainable programs. Find out if AmeriCorps is right for your organization.
Are AmeriCorps members paid on an hourly or salary basis?
AmeriCorps members receive a living allowance, which should be treated the same as a salary. Members must earn the same amount each pay period regardless of amount of hours served.
What are the different types of AmeriCorps programs?
AmeriCorps State and National: AmeriCorps State and National supports a broad range of local service programs that engage thousands of Americans in intensive service to meet critical community needs. Learn more.
AmeriCorps*VISTA: AmeriCorps*VISTA provides full-time members to community organizations and public agencies to create and expand programs to bring low-income individuals and communities out of poverty. Learn more.
AmeriCorps NCCC: The AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps is a full-time residential program for men and women, ages 18-24, that strengthens communities while developing leaders through direct, team-based national and community service. Learn more.
How do I find AmeriCorps programs in my own community?
Click here to view find the AmeriCorps programs that serve your local community.
I’m interested in promoting AmeriCorps to my organization’s constituents. Where can I order brochures or other promotional materials?
Click here to view and order promotional materials.
Where can I find training and technical assistance information?
Click here to receive technical and training assistance from the National Service Knowledge Network.