The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a post-service benefit received by participants who complete a term of national service in an approved AmeriCorps program–AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, or AmeriCorps State and National. The award is named after Eli Segal, one of the pioneers of the national service movement and the first CEO of the federal Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).
An AmeriCorps member serving in a full-time term of national service is required to complete the service within 12 months. Upon successful completion of the service, members are eligible to receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.
The education award may be used to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary educational institutions (including many technical schools and GI-Bill approved educational programs), as well as to repay qualified student loans. The dollar amount of a full-time award is tied to the the maximum amount of the U.S. Department of Education’s Pell Grant, thus it can vary from year to year. Currently, AmeriCorps members may earn up to the value of two full-time education awards and have seven years from the date they earned each award to use it.
Members can divide up an award and use portions of it at different times before it expires, as long as it is for authorized expenditures . A person could, for example, apply a portion of it to existing qualified student loans and save the remainder to pay for authorized college costs a few years down the road.