Become a School of National Service: Join the National Partnership for Student Success Higher Education Coalition

Posted by AmeriCorps on May 16, 2023

Become a School of National Service 

At AmeriCorps, we strive to prepare those who serve with us with the tools and resources needed to thrive in a globally competitive landscape increasing access to education, career, and important skills to compete in a global marketplace.  

To help institutions of higher education engage with AmeriCorps alumni and to strengthen AmeriCorps’ post-service benefits, we partner with universities and colleges across America that want to attract mission-driven students, helping them gain visibility with AmeriCorps members and alumni, and increase their applicant pool.  Schools of National Service allows schools to showcase themselves as institutions that value service and community engagement by making a commitment to those who served in AmeriCorps. As an AmeriCorps grantee, we invite you to join this program. 

Why become a School of National Service? 

Schools of National Service offers financial assistance to AmeriCorps alums. By participating in Schools of National Service, institutions can help make postsecondary education more accessible and affordable to young adults who have helped American communities tackle some of their most pressing challenges and empower an entire ecosystem committed to improving communities across the United States. 


Postsecondary institutions can qualify as a School of National Service by submitting a commitment to provide one or more of the following incentives to AmeriCorps members and alums:

  • Tuition matching for the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award (could be at the undergraduate or graduate level and could be specific to a school or program)
  • Scholarship or fellowship to AmeriCorps alumni
  • Priority points for admission consideration for AmeriCorps alumni
  • In-state tuition for AmeriCorps alumni
  • Cover expenses like books and supplies, room and board, or other personal costs like transportation for AmeriCorps alumni
  • One-year enrollment deferrals for individuals to serve in AmeriCorps
  • Academic credit for AmeriCorps experience
  • Other incentives that vary by institution

Today, 316 institutions have made SONS commitments. In addition, two states (Maryland and Arizona) have passed legislation that enables AmeriCorps alums to receive in-state tuition if they served in that state; Nebraska has passed legislation providing in-state tuition to AmeriCorps alums no matter where they serve; and West Virginia University provides tuition waivers for AmeriCorps members who have served within the state of West Virginia. For every 600 hours served in West Virginia, one semester of in-state tuition can be waived.

Higher education is often a key to economic advancement in America but is increasingly out of reach due to rising costs. The search for an affordable degree program is challenging for a great majority of students. By partnering with AmeriCorps, schools can provide educational opportunities and expand the value of serving in AmeriCorps while attracting mission driven students to your campus.

AmeriCorps members make ideal higher education applicants, and colleges and universities want them on their campus. Joining Schools of National Service will make your institution more attractive to them.

  • AmeriCorps alumni are engaged citizens with real-world experience and a proven ability to lead, collaborate, and become civic leaders.
  • In addition to bringing their education award, AmeriCorps alumni have a strong sense of purpose.
  • AmeriCorps alumni are more likely to attain a bachelor’s degree or higher degree than the average American adult.
  • 90 percent of AmeriCorps members said they gained new skills while in AmeriCorps.
  • 80 percent of alumni feel confident they can create a plan to address a community issue and get others to care about it.
  • National service cultivates adaptability, initiative, a strong work ethic, ability to work on teams, responsibility, and intercultural skills. AmeriCorps members excel in partnering and communicating with diverse racial, religious, ethnic, cultural, and geographic groups.

Application process

There are many options for becoming a School of National Service. However, educational institutions that select to match the Segal Education Award must provide a minimum match of $1,000 to be listed on the AmeriCorps website as a Schools of National Service matching institution. A dollar-for-dollar match is the preferred level of commitment from schools that participate in this program benefit.

Become a partner university

Post-secondary institutions can become Schools of National Service by signing a commitment to incentivize national service through any of the initiatives listed above under Eligibility or one that you work with AmeriCorps to design. Once involved in the Schools of National Service program, participating institutions may sustain or expand their offerings to AmeriCorps members and alumni over time. For more information, visit Schools of National Service or contact

Benefits of Participation

Schools of National Service will help you gain access to AmeriCorps alumni – a network 1.25 million strong – who have earned more than $4.6 billion in Segal AmeriCorps Education Awards. Participation in the program will give higher education and other post-secondary institutions a way to make education more affordable to a group of Americans that research shows are leaders with the determination and skills to succeed.

Individuals who served in AmeriCorps bring tremendous value to higher education or other post-secondary experience that benefit the institution, other students, and their community. We hope you will welcome AmeriCorps’ members’ experience, leadership skills, problem-solving ability, and commitment to civic engagement, recognizing the value of their service by becoming a School of National Service.

Join the National Partnership for Student Success Higher Education Coalition

The U.S. Department of Education, as part of their partnership with AmeriCorps and the Everyone Graduates Center at Johns Hopkins University through the National Partnership for Student Success, has published a Dear Colleague Letter calling upon Institutions of Higher Education to increase their support to local P-12 students and communities by placing more higher education students in evidence-based, community service roles such as tutors, mentors, and college/career coaches in school-based and out-of-school time programs.

By doing so, institutions can join the National Partnership for Student Success Higher Education Coalition alongside a leading cohort of 26 early adopter colleges and universities that have already set public goals as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s effort to place an additional 250,000 caring adults in high-impact roles supporting P-12 students. The NPSS has several tools and resources specifically designed to support colleges and universities, including a guide outlining how to leverage partnerships between higher education and P-12 systems to support students through federal work-study roles, profiles of collaborative programs in action, and two upcoming webinars on May 31st and June 7th.

If you have questions or are looking for additional resources – or want to have your program highlighted on the NPSS website – please contact

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