Below is a list of frequently asked questions about the TEAMS/AmeriCorps program. If your answer does not appear in this list, please contact us and we'll happily answer you question or point you in the right direction.
The basic qualifications for eligibility in the TEAMS/AmeriCorps Fellowship program are as follows:
An eligible school placement is an a) urban, public school in which 40% or more of the student body receives free or reduced lunch, commonly known as a Title 1 school and/or b) a parochial school that serves a comparable percentage of low-income youth. If you have questions about where a particular school qualifies, send us an email or visit:
You can also visit the resources section of the TEAMS website to find these links.
Pedagogical Seminars are the meetings where we conduct our professional development.
Our seminars are the principal time when Fellows are able to engage with other TEAMS Fellows and interact with pedagogy. TEAMS takes particular time and resources to create an environment to stimulate your intellectual growth, encourage professional networking, and provide practical resources, all within a supportive, yet challenging environment. Each seminar is designed to be inspirational, practical, and culturally relevant. You must attend the pedagogical seminars of your TEAMS cohort and attendance at all scheduled pedagogical seminars is MANDATORY.
The ATK method is designed to reduce the paperwork burden of our Fellows who are working full-time, attending higher education classes at least half-time, and participating in all of the Pedagogical Seminars. In response to the requests of TEAMS Fellows and many school principals, this system eliminates the need to turn in monthly timesheets by verification that eligible Fellows are in full-time positions and serving at least 35 hours of direct service per week (not including training hours) at the beginning of the Fellows’ term of service, and also certify that 1700 hours have been fulfilled at the end of the term. Fellows working full time as teachers, paraprofessionals and counselors have consistently shown to go above and beyond the required 1700 hour minimum.
Educators working 7 hours or more per day (contracted) and enrolled at least half time in classes will be eligible to use the alternative timekeeping system, which will include 1) a beginning-of-year verification and 2) an end of year verification form completed by the school principal. The Pedagogical Seminar attendance hours will be verified by the TEAMS office, using sign-in sheets, and class schedules will be used for training hours.
In order to utilize the ATK method, you must meet all three (3) eligibility requirements listed below. If you do not meet all three (3) of these requirements, you will be required to submit monthly timesheets documenting your service hours:
To apply to TEAMS, visit our website at www.teamsusf.org to begin your online application. Complete all sections of the application and remember to attach your Statement of Purpose and a current resume. If you did not submit your proof of citizenship online, then you must send it to our office via email, US Mail or fax within 14 days for your application to be complete. Once our office receives your completed application, it will be reviewed and you will be contacted via email as to your acceptance within 4-6 weeks.
After your acceptance, you will receive an enrollment email with dates and times for orientation as well as a link for the mentor verification form. You must have this form signed by orientation.
You can transform your paper documents to electronic documents at any computer with a scanner, either at your school site, your college/university, or a copy center such as FedEx/Kinko’s. Your paper document will be transformed into a digital file and it can then be submitted along with your online application. We strongly recommend sending an electronic file, as it will ensure that your application is complete once you click the SUBMIT button.
You can utilize the option of mailing in the copy of citizenship documents. We do suggest that you submit it via US Postal Service Certified Mail or another delivery service with confirmation to ensure its receipt in our office. We also suggest that you include the name with which you applied to TEAMS if it is different from the name on your birth certificate, in the case of a name change, marriage, or if you use a name other than the one printed on your proof of citizenship documents).
TEAMS/AmeriCorps utilizes email for the majority of correspondence, program updates, and notifications. It is important that you are able to receive emails at a reliable email address, as important information is often transmitted via email, such acceptance notification, seminar locations and dates, as well as general information regarding the program and your active status.
You will generally be notified of your acceptance within 4 to 6 weeks upon receipt of your application.
Because the Education Award is an EARNED award, you must complete the requirements of the program before you receive the award. Requirements include, attendance at pedagogical seminars, completion of the required number of hours (900 for partial award/1700 for full award), and completion of other documentation within the program timeline (September 1-June 30). Once you are successfully exited from the TEAMS program, you will be notified of your award by our office via email. You can access your AmeriCorps award online within 10 days of receiving the confirmation email.
AmeriCorps also has an online account management system that allows successfully exited Fellows the opportunity to make payments to their loans or schools through the web. Once you are exited, you will receive an email confirmation your status and giving you instructions to utilizing the online account management system.
It is available at: https://my.americorps.gov/mp/login.do
The AmeriCorps Education Award can be used in its entirety or broken-up and used numerous times to repay qualified student loans. The most common include:
TEAMS/AmeriCorps Fellows who are earning an education award are uniquely eligible for one type of postponement of the repayment of their qualified student loan called forbearance. During this forbearance based on national service, interest continues to accrue. If you successfully complete your term of service and earn an education award, the Trust will pay all or a portion of the interest that has accrued on your qualified student loans during this period. This accrued interest paid by the Trust, like the education award itself, is subject to income taxes.
Submit your Forbearance Request for National Service form and any other information required by your loan holder to the TEAMS office in San Francisco by October 30, which we will process. We can certify your AmeriCorps status, but only the loan holder can determine your eligibility for forbearance. Contact your loan holder if you have not heard from them within four weeks of submitting your information to the Trust.
AmeriCorps members who have earned an education award are eligible to have the Trust pay up to 100% of the interest that accrued on their qualified student loan during their service. To have the Trust pay all or a portion of the interest accrued on your qualified student loans, the Trust must receive verification from our program that you have completed your service and are eligible for an award. You and your lender also must complete the Interest Accrued During National Service form, which indicates the amount of interest accrued during your service period. Your loan holder sends this completed form to the Trust for payment.
The Trust WILL NOT pay interest on qualified student loans if you fail to complete your term of service. Exceptions will be made only if you fail to complete your term of service for compelling personal circumstances and you have earned a pro-rated award. It is up to your individual program to determine compelling personal circumstances (e.g. serious illness or injury, death of your immediate family member, early closing of your school).
The Trust will only pay interest on qualified student loans, as described earlier. Ask your loan holder if your student loan qualifies for other kinds of forbearance.
Most student loans that are in default are not eligible for forbearance. If you have loans that have gone into default before you begin your AmeriCorps service, you can attempt to negotiate an arrangement with the loan holder (or collection agency) to bring the loan out of default so forbearance can be granted and interest paid.
You must correctly complete and submit 1) the Forbearance Request for National Service form to the Trust at the start of your service term and 2) the Interest Accrued During National Service form to your lender at the end of your service term.
For general questions about the Education Award and student loan deferment, contact National Service Trust at 1-888-507-5962. Live operators are available from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm EST, Monday through Friday.
If you have successfully completed your AmeriCorps service, you can view your AmeriCorps Education Award account balance and activity online at https://my.AmeriCorps.gov/mp/login.do
To request a copy of your AmeriCorps Education Award voucher or report a change of address, you can e-mail email@example.com.
For general information on student financial assistance, you may contact your high school guidance counselor, the financial aid officer at the post-secondary institution you plan to attend, the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1-800-4-FED-AID (1-800-433-3243), or consult the Student Guide issued by the U.S. Department of Education.
Yes. The education award is taxed in the year it is used. The Corporation for National Service does not deduct taxes from the award, but in late January it sends 1099 Forms to all AmeriCorps members who have made payments from their education awards and who have accrued interest during the previous year. The 1099 Form does not need to be included in your tax return, but it reflects the amount that the National Service Trust reports to the IRS as taxable miscellaneous income. If you have questions about how to file taxes for your award, contact your local IRS office.
Remember, you can split up the use of your award to pay a combination of student loans and/or educational expenses. You can also split up the allocation of your award over multiple calendar years to divide up the tax costs.
In order to be successfully exited from the TEAMS program and earn an education award, each Fellow must:
Once you are successfully exited from the TEAMS program, you will be notified of your award by our office via email. You can access your AmeriCorps award online within 10 days of receiving the confirmation email.