The AmeriCorps helps Christian students pay for college 

Christians certainly do not need to be a part of an organization to make a difference in other people’s everyday lives. However, there is only so much they can do on their own. When students participate in the AmeriCorps program, they have a chance to fulfill their ministry calling by helping others in communities across the country, and at the same time, receive assistance paying for their degree at a Christian university.

The AmeriCorps program is designed to help participants make a big difference in both their lives and those of others, according to the program’s website. Every year, adults across the country can take advantage of 75,000 AmeriCorps opportunities that help them address the critical needs many communities face.

As an AmeriCorps member, individuals are expected to adhere to the program’s official pledge. This means they will work to make people safer, smarter, healthier, and ultimately, “get things done for America,” according to the website. Members may clean up parks, help run after-school programs, teach computer skills, build affordable housing or mentor disadvantaged youth.

While the benefits of such acts are obvious to many, AmeriCorps conducted a study in 2007 to learn what members take away from the program. The majority of alumni who participated in the study said they acquired leadership, communications, time management and decision-making skills.

Beyond the valuable skills AmeriCorps members stand to gain, those who serve full time and meet the program’s requirements earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award, according to the website. Individuals who serve as part-time members are eligible to receive a partial award.

How the Segal is used depends on the type of AmeriCorps service members provided. As a result, some education awards may help alumni cover the costs of attending college or graduate school. Once they receive the award, they will have seven years to use it, and never have to repay the program for the financial assistance it provides.

In some cases, students can also postpone their repayment of any loans through the act of loan forbearance. If AmeriCorps members complete their service, the National Service Trust will cover all or some of the interest that accrued during their time in the program.

As the AmeriCorps offer so many personal benefits that align with the Christian lifestyle, individuals may want to consider serving in the program before applying to Christian colleges and universities, after they have graduated or between earning degrees. Those who wish to join the AmeriCorps can visit the program’s website and find out what opportunities exist in their state.