Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some frequently asked questions regarding MTCC AmeriCorps. If you have a question that is not answered here, please contact Eli Bowe at bowe@mtcompact.org.

Eligibility requirements differ based on the type of AmeriCorps service that interests you. In addition to the requirements described below, all candidates must meet these three criteria:

  • Not be listed in the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) as having been convicted of sexrelated crimes.
  • Not have been convicted of murder.
  • Be willing to undergo a criminal history check.

AmeriCorps VISTA (Full-Year)

  • Be at least 18 years old on the first day of service.
  • Have one of the following citizenship statuses: U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, Lawful Permanent Resident Alien. Or is legally residing in a state and has one of the following legal residency classifications: refugee, asylum or asylee, temporary protected status or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status.
  • Have earned a college degree by the time they begin AmeriCorps VISTA service.
    • A Bachelor’s degree or higher is preferred. Applicants with an Associate’s degree and relevant work experience will be considered.

AmeriCorps College Coaches (Full-Year)

  • Be at least 18 years old on the first day of service.
  • Have one of the following citizenship statuses: U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien.
  • Have obtained an Associate’s degree or higher.
    • Qualified candidates without a degree, particularly current college students pursuing a “gap year” or other temporary break from college, will be considered.

Summer AmeriCorps

  • Be at least 17 years old on the first day of service.
    • Parental permission is required for individuals under the age of 18.
    • Individuals under the age of 18 may not be eligible for all Summer AmeriCorps positions. Contact bowe@mtcompact.org if you would like to confirm eligibility requirements for a specific position.
  • Have one of the following citizenship statuses: U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, Lawful Permanent Resident Alien. Or is legally residing in a state and has one of the following legal residency classifications: refugee, asylum or asylee, temporary protected status or deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA) status.
  • Have obtained a high school diploma, or equivalent.

College AmeriCorps

  • Be at least 17 years old on the first day of service.
    • Parental permission is required for individuals under the age of 18.
  • Have one of the following citizenship statuses: U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or Lawful Permanent Resident Alien.
  • Have obtained a high school diploma, or equivalent.
  • Is enrolled as a student at an MTCC affiliate campus. Review a list of our affiliate campuses.

Montana Campus Compact welcomes persons of every ethnicity, origin, ability, sexual orientation, gender expression, and economic status.

Both AmeriCorps VISTAs and AmeriCorps College Coaches serve full-time, most commonly for a full year. The types of activities you perform will differ based on the position type.

AmeriCorps VISTA members are placed with colleges, universities, schools, nonprofits, and government agencies throughout Montana. VISTA members build capacity at these sites, focusing on education equity, climate resiliency, and veterans services. VISTA members help assess community needs, amplify local initiatives, and support long-term solutions to poverty. As a VISTA member you can expect to complete activities such as grant writing, research, program design, community assessment, etc.

AmeriCorps College Coaches are placed in high schools, colleges, universities, and education-focused nonprofits throughout Montana. They serve directly with low-income and first-generation students, helping them to attain their education goals and prepare for successful careers. As a College Coach, you can expect to engage in one-on-one and small group interactions with students that may include activities such as homework help, college application support, FAFSA education, campus tour planning, etc.

Read additional information about our programs.

Current college students can create AmeriCorps positions for themselves with schools or nonprofits. These AmeriCrops potions can be combined with a work study award, internship, or practicum requirement. This document provides a road map for the process:

AmeriCorps VISTAs and College Coaches receive a bi-weekly living allowance, intended to be sufficient for covering basic living costs and expenses. These members are eligible for additional benefits, such as health coverage. Learn more about financial benefits.

Summer AmeriCorps members also receive a bi-weekly allowance. Other benefits differ from full-year positions. Learn more.

College Student AmeriCorps members do not receive a living allowance. However, where available, they may combine their service with work study, internship, or practicum and receive pay as appropriate. Learn more.

All members who successfully complete their service term will also receive an Education Award. Read “What is the Segal AmeriCorps Education award?” (below) for more information.

No! Many applicants come from other parts of the country to serve with our AmeriCorps programs. Since 2000, AmeriCorps members have served with MTCC from 48 of the 50 states!

A personal vehicle is not required to serve with the MTCC AmeriCorps program at-large. Some positions do entail frequent travel, and will require a valid driver’s license. In a handful of our more remote service locations, a personal vehicle is required. These are noted in the individual position descriptions.

MTCC does not provide housing for AmeriCorps members, but we can provide some assistance in locating housing resources if you are moving to a new community. A few of our college-based service sites are able to provide members with free or discounted housing in campus dorms; however, this is not a guarantee at any site.

Members should be prepared to locate and pay for their own housing, making use of all available options, including public benefits (when eligible) and shared housing options (e.g., renting an apartment with roommates who are AmeriCorps members, graduate students, etc.).

AmeriCorps VISTAs and College Coaches commit to completing one year of service. Usually, positions begin in between June and September and conclude 365 days later. On some occasions, positions are available for different start-dates and/or a period shorter than a year.

Summer AmeriCorps members commit to complete 10 weeks of service, beginning in early June and concluding in mid August.

College Student AmeriCorps members commit to complete either 300 or 450 hours of service. These members serve for one or two semesters, and sometimes continue into the summer. Positions can begin at any point in the year, but usually within the first weeks of a semester.

AmeriCorps VISTA & College Coaches (Full-Year)

MTCC staff meet to determine placements for candidates each week on Wednesday, meaning that year-long positions can be filled at any time. It is recommended that you submit your application no later than Tuesday of the current week if you would like to have the best chance of being considered for a service site placement on the following Wednesday. Final application deadlines are included with individual position descriptions.

To receive an invitation to serve, MTCC must have received your My AmeriCorps application, two professional references (included with your My AmeriCorps application), your application supplement, and you must have attended an interview with MTCC staff.

Summer AmeriCorps

In order to be considered for Summer AmeriCorps positions beginning in June 2023, you must submit an application no later than April 30, 2023. Check out open summer positions.

College AmeriCorps

There is no general deadline for applications to college student positions. Check out open college student positions.

Yes, AmeriCorps VISTAs and College Coaches are eligible for health coverage and other benefits. Learn more.

As an AmeriCorps member, you may qualify for loan forbearance, loan deferment, or income-driven repayment plans. You may also be eligible to have AmeriCorps pay the interest that accrues on qualified student loans during your service term.

Upon successfully completing a term of service you will also be eligible to receive an AmeriCorps Education Award. Award uses include covering tuition expenses and repaying qualified student loans. Read about which loans qualify.

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award is provided to an AmeriCorps members upon successful completion of a service term. For the 2022-2023 service term, the full-year award amount is $6,895 (Summer members and College student members receive $1,374.60). The Education Award can be used to pay for future tuition and related education expenses, or to pay back qualifying student loans. The award is held in a federal trust and may be used for up to 7 years after the service term concludes. Please refer to the AmeriCorps website for further information.

Many Colleges and Universities have policies in place to match portions of AmeriCorps Education Awards that are used to pay for tuition. You can read about options available at Montana colleges and universities. You can explore options at schools across the country.

Please note: AmeriCorps College members who are at least age 55 on their first day of service may transfer the Education Award to their child, stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild, or foster child.

Please note: AmeriCorps VISTA members may elect to receive an an end-of-service cash stipend of $1,800 in place of the Education Award. AmeriCorps VISTA members who are not a U.S. Citizen, U.S. National, or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident Alien may only receive the cash stipend, and are not eligible to receive a Segal Education Award. Learn more about the stipend.

All MTCC AmeriCorps members (full-year, college, and summer) will receive a Pre-Service Orientation when they begin service. This training will provide an overview of their responsibilities as service members. Members are also provided with site-specific training during their first weeks of service and throughout the year.

In addition to Pre-Service Orientation, all AmeriCorps VISTAs and College Coaches participate in the Community Building Institute, a fall training called Building Engaged Citizens, Serve Montana Symposium, and a Close of Service event. Except for the Community Building Institute, all trainings are held in-person, allowing members to learn and reflect with the entire cohort of MTCC AmeriCorps members. Trainings focus on information specific to service, life after service, and how to engage with Montana communities.  Full-year members also participate in AmeriCorps cohort video calls several times per month, giving them a chance to reconnect, collaborate, and receive additional training.