Working with a service organization or volunteer program is a great way to help people in need, give back to your community and build your resume, but did you know that you might also be able to pay for part of your college education through your volunteer work? Take a look at these four volunteer programs that help students pay for college.
Volunteers who fulfill a specified term of service with AmeriCorps can receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award. This award can be used to repay student loans or to cover the cost of educational training and degree programs at qualified colleges, universities and vocational or trade schools. The amount of aid that students receive from the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is equal to the maximum Pell Grant amount set by the U.S. Department of Education.
Designed to provide medical and health support to areas lacking in health professionals, the National Health Service Corps has scholarship opportunities for full-time students and service opportunities for students who are in their final year of medical school. Each of these programs requires a minimum time commitment providing service in one of these areas. Students in the scholarship program can receive money for tuition, fees and other reasonable educational costs in addition to a living stipend. The NHSC will also give previously educated students $50,000 toward repayment of student loans after they complete two to four years of service in a location with a health professional shortage.
3. Peace Corps
Peace Corps partners with many U.S. colleges and universities to offer academic credit and financial assistance to students who participate in Peace Corps service during or prior to attending graduate school. Students interested in helping out globally while earning a graduate degree can pursue the Master’s International Program, which allows them to combine Peace Corps service with a master’s degree program abroad. Volunteers who have returned to the U.S. and want to earn a graduate degree can participate in the Coverdell Fellows Program, which provides financial assistance to volunteers who want to help out communities in the U.S.
ROTC (Reserve Officers’ Training Corps) programs provide two-, three- and four-year scholarship options as well as full-tuition scholarships to college-bound high school students and students already attending colleges or universities. Scholarships for ROTC members are based on the time remaining to complete a degree and may also include additional funds for living expenses, books, and other fees. Students interested in a specific branch of the military can find the following ROTC options:
- Air Force ROTC
- Army ROTC
- Marine ROTC
- Navy ROTC