With the Dow Jones fluctuating up and down, gas prices increasing and tuition expenses being hiked, college students are in need of any financial assistance available. Through MCC UCAN Serve AmeriCorps, students can earn up to $2,362.50 for their college education without writing an essay, filling out the FAFSA or taking out a loan. The program allows students to gain necessary experience in their desired field, while also creating the opportunity to earn money by volunteering for approximately 8-9 hours per week.
The program is provided through the service learning department. In order to begin the process, a student must stop in and make an appointment to receive the AmeriCorps orientation, which takes approximately 15 minutes.
From that point, the student fills out an application and chooses which area they are interested in volunteering. Once they have chosen the partner they would like to serve their hours with, they can start volunteering.
AmeriCorps MCC UCAN Serve program partners with approximately 3,000 nonprofits, public agencies, as well as faith-based and community organizations.
After completing the term a student receives an education award of a minimum $1,000 if the hours are completed within the given term.
“AmeriCorps provides a monetary award which is placed in an online trust which may be used whenever you please and can be used to either payoff student loan debt, pay for university cost, or even graduate school costs,” said Liz Meyer, an employee in the MCC service learning department.
There is no current stipulation or limit to the amount of times a person may volunteer, although the student will only be awarded an education for two terms performed in their lifetime.
The awards are broken up into three categories; for every 300 service hours, $1,000 can be earned as long as the hours are completed within a year, for 450 service hours, $1,250 can be earned in a year’s period and for 950 hours of service; $2,362.50 can be earned in a two-year period.
Within these hours, 80 percent must be training hours, and the remaining 20 percent can be class time, in classes such as foreign language, communication courses and nursing programs.