1. What are the requirements of the Notre Dame Mission Volunteers AmeriCorps (NDMVA) program?
We accept and encourage applications from women and men, single and married, ages 21 and older who have a high school diploma, college education, and/or work experience.
2. How long is my commitment as a Notre Dame-AmeriCorps member? What will my day-to-day schedule typically look like?
Notre Dame-AmeriCorps members serve for 11 months, from approximately September 1 through July. In order to be eligible for the education award, members must complete 1700 hours, about 40 hours per week. Members can also earn hours by volunteering with other organizations and/or projects during their free time. Members serving in schools will most likely have schedules that coincide with the school day, while members serving in community centers may have more varied schedules.
3. What are the financial arrangements and/or benefits of the NDA program?
NDA members are provided with health insurance and a living allowance of $13,732 for the year, which is distributed by Site Directors bi-weekly in the gross (before taxes) amount of approximately $572. Childcare assistance is available for members who may need it. Members also receive an education award of $5,920 (before taxes) after completing their year of service, which may be applied to qualified loans or future education.
4. If I relocate from my home to my new NDA service site, will I be reimbursed for travel expenses?
As a regular NDA member, you will be responsible for transportation to and from your service city, and for daily transportation to and from your site. The NDA program will pay for transportation to and from the February mid-year conference, and other workshops held throughout the year.
5. Is housing provided for me, or is this my responsibility?
We offer the option of shared housing for members in select cities. We may be able to assist members in other cities with their housing arrangements and community support is available throughout the year. Living arrangements are modest, and members living in community do pay rent. Rent varies depending on the cost of living per city. For more information, please visit our benefits page at: www.ndmva.org/Members/Benefits/NewProgBen/MemberBenefits.htm
6. What kind of training do members receive?
Our program kicks off each September with a local or regional orientation. This initial orientation is conducted in an atmosphere of friendship, fellowship, and learning. Orientations vary by city, but all include an introduction to national service, local issues, and practical training. Site Directors provide additional training and supervision and keep members informed of opportunities for further training. In addition to the orientation in September, there is a national mid-year training in February and workshops are offered throughout the service year.
7. Is it possible to defer my student loans during my AmeriCorps service?
By filling out a request form (instructions provided at orientation), you may request loan forbearance for your federal student loans. You will not have to make payments during your period of forbearance, although interest continues to accumulate on your loans. If you qualify for loan forbearance and receive an education award, you can submit another request at the end of your service term for the National Service Trust to pay any interest that accrued during your service. This amount is in addition to your education award.
8. How does the education award work? What can it be used for?
Upon completing your 1700 hours of service with NDA, you will receive an education award of $5,920 that can be used to repay student loans and/or attend college. You will be taxed on the education award in the year that you use it. The award is good for up to seven years after you receive it, and you can earn up to two awards. For more information, please visit the education award page at the AmeriCorps website: www.americorps.gov.
10. Am I allowed to have a part-time job and/or take college courses part-time during my year of service with NDA?
NDA members do have the option to have a part-time job or take classes during their year of service as long as it does not conflict with their service hours. This is a personal choice for each member, but it should also be discussed with and approved by your Site Director. No matter what you do with your free time, remember that the quality of your service as an NDA member is most important, and you should consider this in making any scheduling choices.
11. Can I join NDA if I am not a US citizen?
In order to be an AmeriCorps member, you must be a US citizen, national, or legal permanent resident of the US. However, you may be able to join our program as a Notre Dame Mission Volunteer. You will not be eligible for some benefits available only to AmeriCorps members, but you may still have the opportunity to give a year of your life to serving others. Please contact us if you would like to know more about the Notre Dame Mission Volunteer program.