Community Art Collaborative

Americorps Benefits

Benefits of Service for 2023-24

From premium-free health insurance, to professional development opportunities and student loan options, there are many benefits of service provided by AmeriCorps and MICA. You can find information about the various benefits of service below.

First-year, full-time CAC members receive a living allowance of  $22,000* for the 2023-24 year. 

The living allowance is subject to income tax.

*Contingent upon official award of funds from AmeriCorps.

CAC members may enroll in premium-free health insurance (through a special AmeriCorps healthcare plan with Cigna Healthcare), valued at over $5,000 for the full year.  Coverage includes medical, dental, vision, and AD&D.

Upon successful completion of a year of service, CAC members receive the federal Segal Education Award of $6,895 for full-time members, and $3,447.50 for part-time members. The Segal Education Award can be used to pay eligible student loans or other eligible educational expenses.  

The Segal Education Award is currently subject to income tax. The award generally increases each year, in alignment with the maximum federal Pell Grant award.

For more information, visit the AmeriCorps website here: Segal Education Award

Since AmeriCorps is a National Service Program, all AmeriCorps Members are eligible to apply for the Maryland Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly called "Food Stamps". 

The AmeriCorps stipend does not count as income for the purposes of this program, so full-time AmeriCorps Members may be eligible for the highest monthly amount, around $200 per month.  CAC will provide letters to attach to the application that verify AmeriCorps status of CAC Members.  Learn more about the SNAP program 

Please note, SNAP is administered by the Department of Human Services (DHS), not AmeriCorps or CAC directly. Members who have unique income or tax filing circumstances may have varying eligibility for SNAP assistance.

CAC members with eligible student loans may choose between different student loan benefit options for their time in service:

1. Deferment and interest repayment: All AmeriCorps members may apply for deferment of eligible student loans, and repayment of interest that accrues while they are in service.  Learn more here: AmeriCorps loan deferment and interest forbearance.

2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF): CAC members who pay toward their student loans on an income-driven repayment plan during their time in service, may choose to apply for PSLF for their time in service. 

Learn about the options for student loan benefits at CAC members with eligible student loans are encouraged to review both options and decide the best option for them, prior to the beginning of their service year. The CAC program is not able to enroll a CAC member in their chosen student loan benefit on the member's behalf, but will be available to answer questions and provide relevant resources as able. 

A year as a CAC member is a meaningful investment in your professional development. In addition to ongoing learning at their Host Sites, CAC members attend a 5-week orientation in collaboration with the MFA in Community Arts program, plus bi-weekly CAC Professional Development (PD) workshops throughout the year. PD topics range from teaching and facilitation, youth development, curriculum development, racial and social justice, community and history in Baltimore, grant writing, visiting local cultural institutions, art-making skill building, and much more. 

CAC members also have the option to pursue additional, optional Professional Development opportunities that support their growth as community arts professionals. CAC members have attended the following fee-based conferences at no cost to them, based on individual career goals and interests while in the CAC program:

...and more! 

As AmeriCorps members at MICA, CAC members have access to tons of valuable campus resources. Some of these resources include (but are not limited to):

  • Eligibility to apply for MICA's Community Engagement Grant during their CAC year
  • Free access to Adobe Creative Suite & Microsoft Office (login on up to two devices) - valued at over $50/month
  • Ability to rent equipment at the MICA Tech Desk (such as cameras, laptops, lighting kits, recording equipment, etc.) 
  • Access to resources at MICA's Decker Library 
  • Attend special speaking events and more at MICA, as a member of the campus community
  • For returning CAC members: Tuition Remission to enroll in MICA Open Studies classes 

Similar to an Employee Assistance Plan (EAP), the AmeriCorps Member Assistance Plan (MAP) offers 24/7 support, including on-demand phone or video counseling, life-work balance supports, referrals for helpful services, and more. CAC members have free access to the MAP during their time in service. 

CAC members become part of an expansive network of community arts professionals and CAC alumni, in Baltimore and beyond! Networking opportunities during a year in CAC include...

  • Being part of a cohort of community arts colleagues that you can collaborate with and learn from, during your service year and beyond.
  • Learning about and meeting team members of our CAC Host Sites, including youth-serving and arts-based nonprofits, schools, museums, and community centers. 
  • Being part of the MICA campus community
  • Access to the citywide and national AmeriCorps network for future opportunities and general networking.

CAC members may be eligible for partial reimbursement for childcare costs. Check out this link for more information. 

AmeriCorps alumni may qualify for special benefits when enrolling at participating colleges and universities across the country after completing at least one year of service.

Benefits, such as scholarships and fellowships, vary at each institution.  Learn more about benefits offered by participating schools here: AmeriCorps Schools of National Service

Employers of National Service connects AmeriCorps and Peace Corps alumni with employers from the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. Learn more and search for employers here.

AmeriCorps service is a year-long commitment. In order to serve, you must be at least 17 years old, possess a high school diploma or equivalent, and be a US citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident. Participation in AmeriCorps is conditional upon completion of a National Service Criminal History Check.  Learn more about AmeriCorps on this page of our website.