2017-06-14

The benefits of serving with City Year and AmeriCorps don't end when you graduate. Upon fulfilling all graduation requirements, our City Year AmeriCorps members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, valued at $5,815.

After spending a year inspiring students to achieve their academic and personal goals, this award helps our alumni continue on their own professional learning paths. Whether you plan to earn an undergraduate or graduate degree, or if you're interested in taking classes to enhance a trade or skill, the education award can help you cover academic costs.

To make the most of your award, it's important to be informed and plan ahead:

You can use the award at Title IV schools

While you may use your education award to pay off qualified existing student loans, you may also use the award to pay for additional educational opportunities. You can apply your education award at any school listed as Title IV.

What are Title IV schools? They are institutions that process U.S. Student Financial Aid, and include hundreds of Universities and colleges as well as trade schools, outdoor education programs, schools overseas and international programs.

For a list of current Title IV schools, visit the Federal Student Aid website.

University Partners will match your award

Over one hundred schools recognize that the skills City Year AmeriCorps alumni bring to the table are valuable assets to their school community. They offer additional tuition discounts, and many offer scholarships to match your education award, dollar for dollar.

"Between the scholarship my school offers City Year alumni and The Segal Education Award I earned for completing my City Year AmeriCorps year, going back to school was now something I could afford," Izzi Hernandez-Cruz, a 2015 City Year Columbia alumna, said. "These partnerships and educational awards are two tools that demonstrate how much City Year values the leadership development of both their corps and alumni."

You have 7 years to use your award

If you're not sure how you want to utilize your award right now—that's totally fine. You have plenty of time to decide. By law, you have seven years from the date you complete your term of service to use your education award funds.

If you serve an additional year with AmeriCorps or the Peace Corps during that seven year period, you may be eligible to receive an extension. However, your request for an extension must be submitted in writing before your seven years expire.

You will need to pay taxes on your award

The Education Award is different from a scholarship or fellowship. It's important to know that when you spend your Education Award it will be subject to Federal taxes. It's important to factor that cost into your plan.

Many alumni opt to spend the award over the course of several years, to minimize the taxes they need to pay in a single tax year.  

Still have questions about using your education award?

Thankfully, the Corporation for National and Community Service offers lots of great tools and resources that can help answer your Education Award tax questions.

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