What are the Benefits of AmeriCorps VISTA?
- Receive a modest bi-weekly living allowance to cover basic expenses.
- Professional development opportunities virtually and in person.
- Obtain Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE), a status that gives alumni an edge in the federal hiring process.
- Members receive an end of service award in the form of an education benefit that can be used for further schooling/current loans (roughly $6,500) OR a cash stipend ($1,800).
- Depending on where you come from, members are eligible to receive a relocation and a settling-in allowance for making a commitment to serve.
What Does an AmeriCorps VISTA Member do?
AmeriCorps VISTA members serve full time (~40 hours/week) for 1 full year at a community organization (nonprofit, college/university, local government office, etc.) on anti-poverty projects. AmeriCorps VISTA members work on projects that build the capacity of their organization. Projects can vary and are not limited to: developing outreach and marketing campaigns, building a social media presence, creating a program database, writing grants, managing a program in its first year, and recruiting volunteers.
Who Can Apply to be an AmeriCorps VISTA Member?
Applicants need to be over 18 years old when they start their AmeriCorps VISTA service and must have one of the following citizenship statuses: U.S. Citizens, U.S. Nationals, Lawful Permanent Resident Aliens, or persons legally residing in a state that have the following legal residency classifications: refugee, asylum or asylee, temporary protected status or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status.
What is National Service?
National service is volunteer service on a national level. National service members are funded federally by the Corporation for National and Community Service and can serve in locations across the U.S.
Can I Go To School During My Service Year?
Yes, but classes cannot interfere with your AmeriCorps VISTA position.
Can I Have a Part-Time Job?
Yes, you can have a part-time job. You need to request approval from your supervisor and the job cannot interfere with your AmeriCorps VISTA position.
Does AmeriCorps Provide Housing?
No, AmeriCorps VISTA does not provide housing assistance. Specific AmeriCorps VISTA positions may offer housing benefits depending on the sponsoring organization
Is Healthcare Provided?
AmeriCorps VISTA members can enroll in either a Healthcare Allowance or a Health Benefit Plan. The Health Care Allowance is a reimbursement program that covers out-of-pocket costs associated with healthcare expenses. The Health Benefit Plan is available for members who are legally exempt from needing to maintain qualifying healthcare coverage. The Plan covers eligible medical office visits, most lab and x-ray services, and limited preventive care. Dental and Vision benefits are provided under both plans. Telehealth coverage and availability may vary by state.
What is Non-Competitive Eligibility Status?
Non-Competitive Eligibility (NCE) is a special hiring path for federal jobs. NCE is a hiring authority that allows federal agencies to hire AmeriCorps VISTA alumni outside the traditional hiring process. NCE status does not guarantee employment. AmeriCorps VISTA alumni must still apply and meet qualification standards and additional requirements, such as a background investigation. Upon successful completion of service, AmeriCorps VISTA alumni recieve one year of NCE status.