01 Feb Why Joining AmeriCorps Can Be a Good Option for Students
AmeriCorps is a U.S.-based service program that offers numerous and diverse opportunities to help other people while gaining personal achievement, financial benefits, and other great advantages. Whether you’re looking to take a gap year, deciding whether or not to attend grad school, in between jobs, or looking to gain hands-on job skills, AmeriCorps provides different avenues you can take.
Students often find opportunities in their hometowns or they can find one in a city they’ve always wanted to explore or visit, giving them two months, a year, or even two to truly live like a local while contributing to the community. Other great benefits include the following.
Earn Money for College
At the end of your service commitment, you can take a cash payment or money to be put towards college. Accepting the latter over the cash payment significantly increases the amount you’ll be given and this money can be used for tuition, fees, living expenses, or student loans. If you serve a second term, you can earn a second educational award.
Receive a Living Allowance
Individuals who commit themselves to volunteer service receive a modest stipend from most programs to use for living expenses. If moving to another area, you may also be eligible to receive money to help pay the costs associated with moving. Most AmeriCorps programs also offer supplemental health insurance.
Gain Valuable Work Experience
AmeriCorps programs can help you strengthen your resume. Not only does joining AmeriCorps give you real, hands-on work experience, but you’ll also gain transferable skills employers value, such as teamwork, collaboration, leadership, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
The professional development opportunities in programs are wide and, if planning to go to grad school, you bolster your chances of getting accepted and/or receiving scholarship money from your future school. Furthermore, you also gain a strong, professional network that gets your networking off to a strong start when you enter the workforce.
Defer Student Loan Debt
If you have existing student debt, joining AmeriCorps gives you the chance to delay the loan and receive interest forbearance during your assignment. This benefits you because it helps you to strengthen your job skills to help you obtain a higher-paying job when you come out of the program, enabling you to better pay off debts, especially when combined with your educational award, you can pay off student loans more quickly.
Many students find joining AmeriCorps to be a great option either before or after college. The program has three different segments offering a variety of opportunities.
- AmeriCorps NCCC recruits individuals to travel across the U.S. to work on various projects.
- AmeriCorps VISTA members work in specific positions to help alleviate poverty.
- AmeriCorps State and National offer opportunities in different focus areas.
AmeriCorps is a volunteer program designed for individuals to work with nonprofits and other positions throughout the U.S. With your commitment, you gain the feeling of knowing you’ve helped others, providing you with immeasurable feelings of personal achievement and satisfaction. It’s also a great opportunity to receive financial benefits while expanding your horizons to explore future potential career opportunities.
Contact Accolade Financial
At Accolade Financial, we help students and their families find the best options to help finance higher education. To learn more, schedule an appointment today.