What is the Colorado Campus Compact (CCC) AmeriCorps Program?
AmeriCorps is a national service program initiated by President Clinton, often referred to as the "domestic Peace Corps." AmeriCorps provides thousands of Americans of all ages and backgrounds with education awards in exchange for community service. Nationally, over 150,000 AmeriCorps members have helped to meet the nation's critical needs in the areas of public safety, education, human needs, and the environment.
What does an AmeriCorps member receive?
In exchange for valuable campus-community service, AmeriCorps members receive a monetary award that can be applied to school loans or to finance undergraduate and graduate school, or vocational training. The amount of the award depends on the length of service. Colorado Campus Compact offers several lengths of service, so no matter what your schedule, completing service is manageable and fun.
- 300 hours = $1,132.28
- 450 hours = $1,415.34
- 900 hours = $2,675.00
The 900 hours can be extended over two academic years.
Individuals are allowed to do more than one AmeriCorps vouchers during their lifetime. For most individuals the maximum number would be four contracts.
How can you use your educational award?
- Repay qualified student loans
- Pay current tuition costs
- Save the voucher for future educational expenses. (The voucher is good for 7 years.)
What are the qualifications?
NJC AmeriCorps members must:
- be affiliated with one of the NJC AmeriCorps groups: NJC Nursing Students, NJC Student Athletes, 55+, or the Colorado State FFA Officer Team
- be US Citizens, US Nationals, or Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens
- be at least 17 years of age and have a high school diploma, GED, or be working to obtain one
- submit a copy of birth certificate, passport, or proof of citizenship
- enroll in one of NJC's Service-Learning courses
Benefits beyond the education award:
- Leadership training
- Job experience and skills
- Civic education
- Resume booster
- Opportunity to combine with community work-study
- Student loan payments delayed while you are serving
- Satisfaction of building a community and of helping the nation
Anything an AmeriCorps Member should be aware of?
The recipient of an AmeriCorps Educational Voucher is responsible for taxes on the award in the year it is used, not in the year it is earned. When the voucher is used, the recipient will want to make sure that their tax accountant applies the Hope Educational Tax Credit to minimize any tax.
You need to be careful as to how the educational award is reported on your Financial Aid (FAFSA) form.
The amount of the voucher must be reported on Worksheet C (income exclusion).
The award does count as a resource that could reduce your financial aid package in the year you use it if you are using it to pay tuition.
When you use your AmeriCorps Educational Voucher is the recipient's decision.
What is a non-profit organization?
Nonprofit Organizations are organized for other than profit making purposes, and of which no part of the income is distributable to its members, directors, or officers.
Some examples of non-profit organizations are:
- Public School districts
- FFA, FBLA, FCCLA, etc.
- 4-H Clubs
- Community Hospitals
- Federal and State Governmental agencies
- The American Cancer Society
- and so on…
Is there a listing of the majority of non-profit organizations in NE Colorado?
Yes! Download the list here.
Can you remind me of the major areas of service?
AmeriCorps is looking for service in these broad areas:
- Public Health and Safety
- Academic Support
- Community Strengthening
- Youth Mentoring
Can I log church related activities as volunteer service?
Basically, the participant needs to review what the central theme of the activity really is. Worship and worship related activities can not be counted for AmeriCorps hours.
If you are making cookies and planning games for a typical youth group night, the main purpose is worship and teaching individuals how to serve God. Therefore, any ancillary activities such as snacks and games would not count. If the meeting was planning a mission trip to Mexico to help in an orphanage, then it would.
Another good test is to consider whether the activity reaches out to the community in a nonworship related way. If the youth group took on a project to help the elderly and then went to rake their leaves, clean their gutters, etc., preparing snacks would count.
When are my monthly logs due?
Your monthly logs are due the first Thursday following the month of activity. Please get your logs to your coordinator at that time. AmeriCorps is becoming increasingly picky about seeing monthly activity per participant posted to the national database. Additionally, please make sure all your logs are SIGNED.
It is important for you to keep track of the time you have logged. It is recommended that you make a copy of your logs and/or record your time on a cumulative log sheet.
How can I use my educational award?
(1) Repay qualified student loans
(2) Pay current tuition costs
(3) Save the voucher for future educational expenses. (The voucher is good for 7 yrs.)
How do I prove my citizenship?
You can do this in one of two ways. You just need to provide your AmeriCorps Coordinator with a copy of either your birth certificate or your passport. This will be kept with your file. If you have not done this yet, please do so as soon as possible.
If I started out with a 450 hour contract can I switch that to a 900 hour contract?
If you request the change and the change is made within the first 30 days of your official start date, the answer is YES. To do this you need to place your request in writing and submit it to your AmeriCorps Coordinator at least 5 working days prior to the end of your first 30 days of service.
Once I have completed my contract, what do I do?
In the front of the Americorps notebooks, you will find a checklist of things you need to do to finish your AmeriCorps contract. You will need to make sure that all of the evaluations are complete. Once they are, contact your AmeriCorps Coordinator and let them know that you have all of the evaluations completed and you are requesting to be exited. It typically takes about two days for the exit to be processed. Once it has been, you can actually access your voucher online. Just go to www.americorps.org, select the INDIVIDUAL tab, then scroll down to the bottom and select My Americorps/AmeriCorps Online Payment System. After you have registered for a user id and password on this website, you can direct your payment to the institution or loan institution of your choice from the website.
Where can I use my AmeriCorps Voucher?
You can use your AmeriCorps voucher all at once or in smaller amounts at any accredited educational institution in the nation. Of course, it is fantastic if you use it at NJC!
What do you know about the new Hope Scholarship NJC is offering to EVERY graduating senior in Northeastern Colorado?
NJC has worked hard to come up with funding and a plan to help students in Northeastern Colorado get half (30 credits) of their associate degree for free! High school seniors graduating from one of the high schools in the Northeast Colorado five county region, must have a 2.5 GPA to qualify. The Hope Scholarship guarantees that the first nine credits of your first two semesters on NJC's campus as a full-time student (after federal and state grants have been applied to your bill), will be paid for by the Hope Scholarship. The amount changes for your third and fourth semesters to a guarantee of 6 credits. Doing the math: 9 + 9 + 6 + 6 = 30 credits for free! To qualify for continuing semesters students need to maintain a 3.0 grade point average or use the free tutoring center (CLC) for an average of 5 hours per week. This last statement also applies to current full-time traditional students that will be continuing on to their third and fourth semesters during the 2008-2009 academic year. For more information on the Hope scholarship contact the Admissions Office.
When will I be receiving my bill for the NJC Service Learning Course?
As you will recall from your orientation session, in order to be enrolled in NJC’s AmeriCorps Program you must also be enrolled in one of NJC’s Service Learning Courses. In an effort to be more efficient and cause fewer holds on student’s accounts, starting this fall, there will be a one time charge for the NJC Service Learning Course.
If you have not yet received a bill, you should shortly.
The credits charged for each of the terms of service are as follows:
- 300 hour contract = 1 credit = approximately $100
- 450 hour contract = 1.5 credits = approximately $145
- 900 hour contract = 2.5 credits = approximately $235
High School Students
For AmeriCorps participants taking NJC college courses while they are in high school, billing seems to be very confusing. A large portion of this confusion seems to center around the timing of when school districts pay for eligible PSEO courses. NJC tries hard to make it as simple as possible, but sometimes you need to give us a call for review of your account. One word of warning is that to avoid holds on your NJC account, you will need to have paid for your Service Learning Course, prior to registering for your next term of NJC PSEO courses. If you have any questions regarding billing, please feel free to contact Annie Shalla, at 521-6702.
Continuing Participants from Prior Grant Year
If you are a continuing AmeriCorps participant starting prior to August 19, 2007, your transcript was reviewed and you were billed the balance of the credits you owe according to your current AmeriCorps contract. This is why your bill may be for more than .5 credits.
Extremely Large Bill
If you get an extremely large bill, this is probably because you have not applied for the College Opportunity Fund (COF). You can visit the COF website here. Another possible explanation of an unusually large bill is that you were entered as a nonresident.
How to I apply for the NJC Service Learning Scholarship?
If you are currently a high school senior, be sure to remember to submit the NJC Service Learning Scholarship application. You will find a copy of it both in the front of your notebook and available on the NJC website. NJC's AmeriCorps program awarded 27 - $500 NJC Service Learning Scholarships in the Fall of 2007 and 22 in 2008.
Do I have to attend NJC to be awarded the NJC Service Learning Scholarship?
YES, you have to be a full-time entering freshman to be awarded this scholarship.