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Scholarships for Volunteering and Community Service
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This page provides information about scholarships and financial aid for volunteering and community service. These scholarships reward you for helping others. It's a nice way of doing well by doing good.

In addition to the resources listed below, students who are involved in volunteering and community service should ask whether there are any awards available at the location where they perform their community service. It is quite common for hospitals and nursing homes, veterans groups, churches, mosques and synagogues, historical societies, fraternal organizations and other community service organizations to provide scholarships to recognize outstanding community service by young volunteers.

The Federal Work Study program includes a community service component. Schools are required to use 7% of their Federal Work Study program funds to pay for students employed in community service jobs. In addition, schools can request supplemental funding for community service jobs. If you are eligible for a Federal Work Study job, the school will be delighted if you are interested in a community service job, especially if it involves working as a reading tutor for children or performing family literacy activities.

This list of awards is intended to be illustrative. For a more complete list, search the FastWeb scholarship database.

See also the list of prestigious scholarships, several of which select winners in part on the basis of community service.

Senator Chris Dodd has introduced legislation, the Youth Service Scholarship Act of 2005 (S1247), which would create a new scholarship program to encourage and reward low-income students who make significant public service contributions to their communities. The program would award 1,000 scholarships worth $5,000 each. To be eligible, candidates would have to perform 300 hours of community service per year for at least two years in high school and during the previous year. The legislation has not yet been passed.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness program provides for forgiveness of federal education loans after ten years of full-time employment in public service. The borrower must make 120 payments while the loans are in the direct loan program and while employed in public service. At the end of the ten-year period, any remaining outstanding principal and interest is forgiven. The benefit is maximized when the borrower repays the loans under the income-contingent or income-based repayment plans. This forgiveness program is best for borrowers with high debt and low income.

FastWeb and VolunteerMatch are providing a volunteer matching service that matches prospective volunteers with more than 50,000 active volunteer openings in 28 different interest areas, including children and youth, disaster relief and crisis support. There is also a special subsection called "Green Volunteers" for 3,000 volunteering opportunities with a positive impact on the environment. The service is available to students, parents and educators (including financial aid administrators and guidance counselors).

AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National Service

Corporation for National and Community Service
This page provides news and updates, award notices, information about AmeriCorps, Learn and Serve America, and Senior Corps.

The Segal AmeriCorps Education Award provides several thousand dollars for each year of full-time service (prorated for part-time). Through 2009 the maximum education award was $4,725. Starting in 2010 the maximum education award is pegged to the maximum Pell Grant. The money can be used to pay for college costs or to repay student loans. The award may be claimed up to seven years after the service is completed.

The Presidential Freedom Scholarships are awarded subject to the availability of funding in the federal budget.

National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)
This AmeriCorps program is an 11-month residential national service program intended for 18-24 year-olds. Participants receive education awards to pay for college tuition or to help repay education loan debt. The funds can be used up to seven years after the completion of the term of service. For more information, contact:
National Civilian Community Corps
1100 Vermont Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20525
Phone: 1-800-94-ACORPS (1-800-942-2677)

National Awards

Bonner Scholars Program
The Bonner Foundation provides four-year community service scholarships of up to $4,000 a year to 1,500 students each year at 25 colleges and universities. The Bonner Scholars, in turn, commit 10 hours per week to volunteer service and participate in a summer community service internship.

The Do Something Awards
The BRICK Awards by Do Something provide community grants and scholarships to "change-makers" age 25 and under who work with Do Something to improve their communities. The competition is open to US and Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Five Do Something Award nominees will receive at least $10,000 in community grants and scholarships. Of the five winners, one grand prize winner will receive a total of $100,000 in community grants. The nominees also participate in a live VH1 TV show and will receive continued support from (The community grants are paid to the nominee's organization or a not-for-profit organization of the nominee's choice. All winners have the option of receiving $5,000 of the total award in the form of a college scholarship.) The deadline is March 1. For more information, send email to

Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program
The Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarship Program, formerly the Comcast Foundation Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarship Program, awards more than one thousand $1,000 scholarships for community service and leadership to high school seniors in communities served by Comcast. Candidates must be nominated by their high school principals by mid-March. Each principal may nominate only one student.

Disabled American Veterans Youth Volunteer Scholarship Awards
Disabled American Veterans offers several scholarships for volunteers age 21 and under who volunteer at VA Medical Centers. The scholarships include awards of up to $15,000. For more information, write to Disabled American Veterans, National Service and Legislative Headquarters, Voluntary Services Department, 807 Maine Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20024.

Another scholarship available to students who volunteer at VA Medical Centers is the James H. Parke Memorial Scholarship.

Discover Card Tribute Award
The Discover Card Tribute Award awards up to $1 million in scholarships annually to high school juniors nationwide. Discover awards up to 300 state scholarships of $2,500 and up to ten national $25,000 scholarships. The scholarships may be used for postsecondary education at two and four-year colleges and trade/technical schools. Winners are selected on the basis of community service, special talents, leadership, and overcoming an obstacle. Candidates must have a GPA of 2.75 or better in the 9th and 10th grades. The deadline is January 31. For more information, call 1-866-756-7932.

Echoing Green Public Service Fellowship
The Echoing Green Public Service Fellowship provides a one-year $15,000 stipend to graduating college seniors from 27 participating institutions to develop and implement a community service project. The deadline is in early March. For more information, call 1-212-689-1165, fax 1-212-689-9010, or write to Echoing Green, 198 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor, New York, NY 10022.

Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes
The Gloria Barron Prize for Young Heroes is awarded annually to ten US and Canadian students, aged 8-18, who have developed an extraordinary service project that helped people and the planet. Half of the winners are focused on helping their communities and people, and half are focused on protecting the environment. Winners receive a $2,000 scholarship. For more information, write to The Barron Prize, PO Box 17, Boulder, CO 80306-0017.

The Heart of America Christopher Reeve Award
The Heart of America Christopher Reeve Award is awarded annually to a student for extraordinary community service. The award includes a $1,000 scholarship. Candidates must be a senior in high school or younger when awarded. The deadline is October 31.

Kohl's Kids Who Care Program
The Kohl's Kids Who Care Program ( honors students age 6-18 who are involved in community service. Candidates enter by being nominated by an adult age 21 years or older. Nominees are considered in two age groups, 6-12 and 13-18, with three prize levels within each group. More than 2,000 children will receive a total of more than $350,000 in scholarships and prizes. More than 2,000 store winners each receive a $50 Kohl's gift card, 194 regional winners each receive a $1,000 scholarship, and 10 national winners each receive a $5,000 scholarship. The deadline is March 15.

Ladies Auxiliary VFW Outstanding Young Volunteer of the Year
This award provides a $5,000 US Savings Bond to a US citizen aged 12 to 15 who has demonstrated a commitment to volunteer service. Candidates must be sponsored by an Auxiliary. The deadline is early February. For more information, write to Auxiliary Youth Activities Chairman, National Headquarters, Ladies Auxiliary VFW, 406 W. 34th Street, Kansas City, MO 64111, call 1-816-561-8655, fax 1-816-931-4753, or send email to

National Caring Award
The National Caring Award is sponsored by the Caring Institute and the Pay It Forward Foundation. Each year 10 adults and 5 young adults (12th grade and below) are recognized through this program. The young adults each receive a $2,000 scholarship.

Prudential Spirit of Community Awards
The Prudential Spirit of Community Awards recognize children in grades 5-12 who have engaged in volunteer activities and have demonstrated exceptional community service. The program is sponsored by Prudential in conjunction with the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). State winners receive a $1,000 award. National winners receive a $5,000 award. The student application deadline is in late October.

Samuel Huntington Public Service Award
The Samuel Huntington Public Service Award provides a $10,000 stipend to a graduating college senior to pursue a year of public service anywhere in the world. The money may be used for any project that helps others. Candidates submit a proposal as part of their application. US citizenship is not required. The deadline is in early February. For more information, write to Amy F. Stacy, The Samuel Huntington Fund, 25 Research Drive, Westborough, MA 01582, call 1-508-389-3390, or send email to

SERVEnet is a web site for community service and volunteering. Their web site includes information about grants and awards for community service.

William R. Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy
The William R. Simms Award for Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy is awarded by the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) to individuals and groups of people aged 5-17 and 18-23 who have "demonstrated outstanding commitment to the community through direct financial support, development of charitable programs, volunteering and leadership in philanthropy". The submission deadline is September 15.

VISTA Volunteers in Service to America
VISTA is part of ACTION, the federal domestic volunteer agency. This program offers numerous benefits to college graduates with outstanding student loans. For more information contact:
Washington, DC 20525
Phone: 1-800-424-8867

Youth Service America
Youth Service America administers several awards for community service by students, including the Harris Wofford Awards ($1,000), the State Farm Companies Foundation "Good Neighbor Service-Learning Grant" (one hundred $1,000 grants), and the Clay Aiken "Able to Service Awards" (twenty-five $1,000 grants), among others.

National Recognition

American Citizenship Award
The American Citizenship Award is a program of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. They produce American Citizenship Award pins which elementary, middle and high school principals can award to students who participate in community service and volunteerism.

Campus Compact
Campus Compact sponsors several awards for volunteerism by students. The Howard R. Swearer Student Humanitarian Award is presented to five or six students from campus chapters. Recipients receive $1,500 to support a service program of their choice. For more information, send email to Campus Compact also provides a variety of state awards and information about other grants and fellowships for students at the state level.

The Congressional Award
The Congressional Award honors young Americans aged 14 to 23 for excellence in volunteer public service. It is sponsored by the United States Congress.

Daily Points of Light Award
The Daily Points of Light Award recognizes significant contributions to volunteer service by individuals and organizations. A particular emphasis is placed on efforts that identify a community need, take an innovative approach to addressing that need, and make a significant impact on the problem. The Points of Light Foundation also provides several other awards for community service.

International Youth Hall of Fame
The International Youth Hall of Fame recognizes children in grades K-12 who have made a difference at home, in school and in the community.

Jefferson Award
The Jefferson Award is sponsored by the American Institute for Public Service in conjunction with more than 100 media partners.

Nestle & Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) Very Best in Youth
The Very Best in Youth program is co-sponsored by Nestle and Reading Is Fundamental. It honors 30 youth each year who have made significant contributions to their communities. $1,000 is donated by Nestle to a charity selected by each winner. The deadline is November 1.

PBS Zoom into Action
The PBS Zoom television show features children who volunteer in their communities.

President's Volunteer Service Award
The President's Volunteer Service Award, which now incorporates the President's Student Service Scholarships, honors Americans who have demonstrated a significant commitment to volunteer service. See also information about the Presidential Freedom Scholarship (certification form).

College-Specific Awards

Green Mountain College's Make A Difference Scholarships
The Make A Difference Scholarships are awarded by Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont to up to 10 students each year. The full four-year scholarships cover tuition, room and board for students who have made a "significant positive difference in their communities and/or in the lives of others". For more information, contact Sandy Bartholomew, Dean of Enrollment Management, Green Mountain College, One College Circle, Poultney, VT 05764, call 1-800-776-6675, or send email to

Local Awards

Mary A. Mades Volunteer Scholarship Award
The Mary A. Mades Volunteer Scholarship is awarded by the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to a Beth Israel Deaconess volunter who is pursuing a degree or certification in health care. The deadline is April 1.

Miller Memorial Blood Center Volunteer Scholarships
The Miller-Keystone Blood Center sponsors a $1,000 scholarship for volunteer efforts by a graduating high school senior. The deadline is March 31. For more information, write to Volunteer Scholarship, Hospital Central Services, Inc., 2171 28th Street S.W., Allentown, PA 18103.

Minnesota Historical Society Student Volunteer Scholarship Program
Three $1,000 scholarships for high school seniors who are active members of the Minnesota Historical Society and who have contributed at least 25 hours of volunteer service during the year. For more information, call 1-651-297-2605 or send email to

Project V-FIRE
Project V-FIRE is sponsored by the Erie County and the Erie Community College (ECC). ECC students who are accepted into membership of one of Erie County's volunteer fire companies or emergency services agencies are eligible for a tuition scholarship at ECC. V-FIRE recruits must commit to a service obligation of five years.

University of Iowa Health Care Volunteer Scholarships
The University of Iowa Health Care offers several scholarships for Iowa high school seniors and college students who have contributed significant volunteer service at UI hospitals and clinics.

Washington Hospital Service League Volunteer Scholarships
The Washington Hospital Service League awards two renewable $1,000/year scholarships for high school seniors and college students from the Washington Hospital District (Fremont, Newark, Union City, Hayward, Sunol) who are pursuing a degree in a health-related field. Candidates must have contributed at least 100 hours of volunteer service in a health-related field. The deadline is April 1. For more information, write to Washington Hospital, Lobby desk, 2000 Mowry Avenue, Fremont, CA 94538.


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