Use of Your Segal AmeriCorps Education Award at PSU
You can use your Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to repay qualified student loans or to pay for current educational expenses at a qualified school.
Federal legislation defines qualified student loans as those backed by the federal government under Title IV of the Higher Education Act or under Titles VII or VIII of the Public Health Service Act. These include:
- Federal Perkins loan awarded at PSU – repayment is made to PSU
- Federal Stafford loans – repayment is made to current holder of the loans
Current educational expenses are those that were incurred after you became an AmeriCorps member. As defined in the federal code, these include:
- The “Cost of Attendance” for a degree- or certificate-granting program at a qualified (Title IV) school, and
- Educational expenses for non-degree courses offered by qualified schools, such as continuing education courses.
The cost of attendance is determined by the financial aid office of each school based on federal legislation and guidance. The cost of attendance includes allowances for tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board and transportation.
Students who are fully admitted at PSU may request to use AmeriCorps funds up to their cost of attendance on a per term basis. Other awarded financial aid will be taken into account when the office determines the amount of AmeriCorps funds a student is eligible to use. If the student wishes to use AmeriCorps funds in place of other already accepted aid, the student must notify the Office of Student Financial Aid in writing before submitting the request to AmeriCorps.
Students who are fully admitted may use their AmeriCorps funds for the purchase of a computer once during their degree program. They must first submit a “Request for Cost of Attendance Increase” form to the Office of Student Financial Aid along with an advertisement of the computer they plan to purchase, with pricing information not to exceed $2000. On the form the student must indicate that he or she intends to use AmeriCorps funds rather than federal loans to purchase the computer.
Non-admit (formerly “quick-entry”), continuing education and extended studies students are eligible to use AmeriCorps funds for educational expenses, which include course charges posted to the student’s PSU bill and an allowance for textbooks. If you are taking courses in one of these programs, you should notify that program that you plan to use AmeriCorps funds to pay your bill. If your bill has not been posted to your student account when the Office of Student Financial Aid receives your request to use AmeriCorps funds, your request may be denied or at the least approval will be delayed.
Students choosing to use their AmeriCorps award to pay for educational expenses should be aware that federal regulation requires that the payments be issued to the school in two installments, one at the beginning of the term and the second at the mid-point of the term. The school will release those payments to the student’s account as the funds arrive at the school.
Students should be aware that if they withdraw or fail to complete the period of enrollment in a term in which AmeriCorps funds have been paid, federal regulation may require the school to return a portion of the AmeriCorps funds. Per federal law, those returned funds will be credited back to the student’s account at the National Service Trust.
What Happens When You Submit Your AmeriCorps Request
The student logs on to the my.americorps.gov website and completes an Education Award Payment Request.
The request appears in the PSU queue on the AmeriCorps site. Office of Student Financial Aid staff review their queue weekly for requests to pay current educational expenses. Business Affairs Office staff review their queue weekly for requests for forbearance and payment of qualified student loans (Perkins).
Once PSU staff accepts the Education Award request, current term funds are transferred from the National Service Trust to the school within about a week or beginning at the start of the term, if the award was requested for a future term. PSU staff will post Education Award payments to students’ accounts generally within 2-3 business days of receipt.
Information on these pages was taken from the AmeriCorps.gov website and Title 45 of the Code of Federal Regulations.