As the school year comes to an end and the students excitedly discuss their summer plans, your mind may begin to turn toward your Education Award. What do you do with it? For those members who have completed their degree, already paid off student loans or don’t have children or grandchildren to gift the award to, finding an alternative way to use the Education Award can be a tricky task. But what you may not know is that there are more ways to use your award than you may think.
If studying stateside isn’t for you, take your education overseas by participating in a study abroad program. Learn about literature on the rolling hills of Ireland or take in the latest tech in Japan. No matter where you choose to go, studying abroad can be a great opportunity for personal growth and discovery.
Alternatively, you can also earn college credit or complete your degree in another country. For those schools not listed as Title IV, you may still be able to attend through an exchange program.
Learn a New Skill
Ever wanted to become a certified SCUBA instructor? Get your pilot’s license? Take up photography? Learn about beekeeping? With your Education Award, you can pay toward qualifying skill or certification classes for that hobby you’ve been meaning to get to. Check your local community college, university or non-profit organization to see what’s offered near you.
Serve Across the Globe
Take your service to a whole new place! Through organizations like IPSL and Global Service Corps, you can help international communities in need, while also gaining valuable experiences and skills you can take with you throughout your life. Not to mention the chance to travel the world!
Multiply Your Money
While this alternative use is being applied to your education in a more traditional sense, it also offers you the opportunity to gain more money toward expenses. Many colleges and universities across the United States offer an education award match as recognition for your commitment to service. Contact the institution you’re looking to attend to see if they would consider contributing to your education.
Study abroad: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/how-i-used-my-americorps-ed-award-leila-soliman/
Overseas schools: https://www.nationalservice.gov/resources/ed-award/overseas-schools
Skill or certification classes: https://sccwelcometodurango.weebly.com/alternative-ways-to-use-your-ed-award.html
Global Service Corps: https://www.globalservicecorps.org/pages/how-to-use-your-americorps-segal-award
Matching institutions: https://www.nationalservice.gov/programs/americorps/segal-americorps-education-award/matching-institutions