Montana Campus Compact Announces Education Award Match
THIRTEEN MONTANA COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO MATCH AMERICORPS EDUCATION AWARD
Montana Campus Compact affiliates want AmeriCorps alums on their campuses
MISSOULA, MT: In an effort to attract more civically engaged students to pursue higher education in Montana, 12 Montana colleges and universities are offering matching funds for AmeriCorps alums who use their Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards to attend their institutions.
The initiative is being led by Montana Campus Compact, a CEO-led coalition of colleges and universities which drives civic engagement, service-learning and volunteerism. In November of 2014, Montana Campus Compact's board of directors voted unanimously to encourage its affiliates to match the education award. Montana's Campus Compact is a fifteen campus network led by Flathead Valley Community College president Jane Karas, PhD.
"My colleagues and I believe in the importance of student volunteerism and engaging with community," Karas said. "By matching AmeriCorps Education Awards, we formally add support to the national effort to address our most pressing community needs."
"Montana's colleges and universities are making a smart move to attract talented and dedicated students to attend college in Big Sky Country," said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), which administers AmeriCorps. "I applaud Montana Campus Compact and the participating institutions for their leadership in recognizing the tremendous value that AmeriCorps alums bring to campus, and hope more colleges and universities around the country will follow their lead."
The initiative is another indication of Montana's leadership in national service. Last month, CNCS announced that Montana ranked first in the nation for states that generate the most AmeriCorps members per capita. In March, Governor Steve Bullock announced that Montana is the first state in the west, and the second in the nation, to become an Employer of National Service, taking steps to encourage AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni to apply for careers with Montana state government.
The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is a post-service benefit received by participants who complete a term of national service in AmeriCorps programs, including AmeriCorps VISTA, AmeriCorps NCCC, and AmeriCorps State and National. It is named after Eli Segal, one of the pioneers of the national service movement and the first CEO of CNCS.
The award may be used to pay educational costs at eligible post-secondary educational institutions (including many technical schools and GI-Bill approved educational programs), as well as to repay qualified student loans. The dollar amount of a full-time award is tied to the maximum amount of the Pell Grant. While they serve, AmeriCorps members are also eligible to temporarily postpone payment of their student loans, and interest that accrues during AmeriCorps service is covered by CNCS. Currently, more than 140 colleges and universities across the country offer a variety of incentives such as service scholarships or matching tuition funding to the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.
Since AmeriCorps founding in 1994, more than 900,000 men and women have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in service tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve. AmeriCorps members have earned more than $2.8 billion in education awards.
Since 1994, more than 8,800 Montana residents have served more than 8.5 million hours and have qualified for Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards totaling more than $20 million. In that time, AmeriCorps members have directed more than $9.9 million in education award payments to the 15 colleges and universities that are members of Montana Campus Compact.
Information on specific campus matches and application processes is at: http://mtcompact.org/awards-scholarships/segal-americorps-education-awards/.
Participating Institutions include:
· Carroll College
· Flathead Valley Community College
· Fort Peck Community College
· Great Falls College Montana State University
· Helena College University of Montana
· Montana State University
· Montana State University Billings
· Montana State University-Northern
· Montana Tech of the University of Montana
· Rocky Mountain College
· University of Great Falls
· University of Montana
· University of Montana Western
ABOUT MONTANA CAMPUS COMPACT:
Montana Campus Compact is a CEO-led coalition of colleges and universities which drives civic engagement, service-learning and volunteerism. Our work to improve community life and educate students for civic and social responsibility is critically important. For more information, visit http://mtcompact.org/
ABOUT CAMPUS COMPACT:
Campus Compact is a national coalition of more than 1,100 colleges and universities working to advance the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and educate students for civic and social responsibility. For more information, visit http://compact.org/.
ABOUT THE CORPORATION FOR NATIONAL AND COMMUNITY SERVICE:
The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that engages millions of Americans in service and developing community solutions through its AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, Social Innovation Fund, and other programs, and leads the President's national call to service initiative, United We Serve. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.