Community Art Collaborative

Benefits for Members

Benefits of Service for 2024-25

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 up to $25,500 ($15/hr)* for the 2024-25 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

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. 

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 federal student loans may take advantage the following student loan benefits, during their time in AmeriCorps service: 

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

2. Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF): 

We highly recommend watching this webinar about utilizing the PSLF program during and after your service year:Webinar: Public Service Loan Forgiveness: A Primer for AmeriCorps Grantees and Members (9/20/23) 

As of July 1, 2023, all full-time positions with AmeriCorps or PeaceCorps are PSLF-eligible. 

AmeriCorps members should follow this Repayment Approach to take full advantage of all forbearance and PSLF benefits during their time in service (as recommended by Dept. of Education in the above webinar):

  1.  Apply for AmeriCorps loan Forbearance for the duration of your time in service.
  2.  Enroll in an income-driven repayment (IDR) plan before the conclusion of your service.
  3.  Apply your Segal Education Award as a lump sum payment to cover future PSLF-eligible IDR payments.  (A maximum of 12 months PSLF credit may apply)

Please refer to studentaid.gov/pslf for more information. 

 Please note: The CAC program is not able to enroll a CAC-AmeriCorps member in these student loan benefits, on a member's behalf. All AmeriCorps members must take the above action steps in order to receive these benefits. Consult your loan servicer if you have questions about your specific loan situation. 

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 

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.