Service Jobs

Another possible way to help pay for college is to take a community service job through an organization like AmeriCorps or City Year. Both organizations require a time commitment (typically nine months to a year), but you will earn education awards.

  • AmeriCorps. AmeriCorps is the domestic version of the Peace Corps, and some of this service occurs on Indian reservations. Most jobs require a full-time commitment of 1,700 hours during a year (9 months to one year). Part-time jobs require 300 to 900 hours of work. The benefits-beyond making a difference in a community-include:

    • – A $4,725 post-service award for full-time participants and a living allowance.
    • – A $2,363 post-service award (pro-rated based on the number of service hours) and a living allowance.

To be eligible for AmeriCorps, you must be 17 or older and have a high school diploma or a GED. To learn more, visit or call (800) 942-2677.

  • City Year. City Year members mostly work in schools as tutors or mentors. You could run after-school programs or conduct leadership classes. You also could help rebuild or improve neighborhoods. After 10 months of full-time service, you could receive a $5,350 education award to pay for college or existing student loans. To be eligible for City Year, you must be between 17 and 24 years old and have a high school diploma or GED (or pursuing a GED). To learn more, visit

Some colleges "sweeten the pot" for individuals who have worked for these organizations by waiving registration fees. They might even grant course credits.