Look through these lists to find answers to the questions people most frequently ask us. If you don't find the information you need, Coverdell Fellows Program staff is available to answer your questions by telephone at 855.855.1961, ext. 1440 and by email at email@example.com. Office hours are 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST Monday through Friday. The office is closed on all federal holidays.
Who is eligible to participate in the Coverdell Fellows Program?
Any returned Peace Corps Volunteer who satisfactorily completed service has lifetime eligibility to become a Peace Corps Fellow. For the complete guide to eligibility, go to the Eligibility and Admissions section of this website.
Why should I choose a Coverdell Fellows Program university?
Although other universities may give consideration to your Peace Corps service, our Coverdell Fellows Program partner universities are committed to providing you with a wide range of benefits, including financial aid and a career-related internship. They recognize the value you will bring to their classrooms, campuses, and communities, and have worked with our staff to design programs that will help make your graduate school experience as complete as possible.
Why won’t the Coverdell Fellows Program give me money to go to any university I choose?
The Coverdell Fellows Program isn't a scholarship program. Think of our staff as facilitators. Our role within the Peace Corps is to help you in your transition to graduate school by working with partner universities to ensure that their programs meet our quality guidelines. The guidelines include a financial component, but the type and amount of assistance is decided by the partner university alone.
How do I apply to the Coverdell Fellows Program?
This one is easy—simply look through the list of schools on our Participating Universities page for contact information for any university that interests you. Each partner university has its own application process and deadlines. When you send in your paperwork, be sure to indicate to the university that you are applying to the the Coverdell Fellows Program. The Peace Corps does not require any paperwork from RPCVs who are applying to the program.
Will I receive academic credit for my Peace Corps service?
Each university partner provides financial assistance in any number of ways. One of these might include academic credit for Peace Corps service. Check the university’s website for specifics regarding financial assistance and any other requirements.
Can I serve as an international intern as a Peace Corps Fellow?
All Peace Corps Fellows are required to complete an internship in an underserved American community. Generally, an "American Community" is defined as being within the 50 states. However, because of our government's relationship with some other countries, an internship abroad may satisfy the requirement. Go to the Office of Insular Affairs at the Department of the Interior for a list of included jurisdictions.
Is there a limit to the number of universities that can participate in the Coverdell Fellows Program?
No. However, at some point it may become limited by Peace Corps resources.
How do I get a program started on my campus, or at a university in which I am interested?
We periodically add universities to the Coverdell Fellows Program. Becoming a partner requires a good deal of time, effort, and cooperation between our office and the university. The first step is to review the information on this website about how to become a partner university. Then, have a representative from the school talk to someone in our office.
Are there other resources available to RPCVs?
Returned Volunteer Services (RVS) and the Peace Corps regional offices are eager to facilitate returned Volunteers' transition to post-Peace Corps life. RVS assists with employment and education resources, staying connected with other RPCVs, Third Goal activities, and Peace Corps Response. For more information about the services RVS provides, please visit www.peacecorps.gov/engage. To find your regional office, please click here.
How do I obtain a copy of my Description of Service (DOS)?
To request a copy of your DOS, please contact Volunteer and PSC Financial Services via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 855.855.1961, ext. 1770.
How does being a Fellow affect my federal noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) status?
For recently returned RPCVs, your noncompetitive eligibility (NCE) status to apply for federal jobs may, at the hiring agency's prerogative, be extended up to three years from the date of your close of service if you are a full-time student.
Why does the Coverdell Fellows Program issue Invitations to Participate (Invitations)?
Although Peace Corps previously reviewed proposals from potential university partners on a rolling basis, implementing a single deadline allows Peace Corps to view proposals side-by-side to ensure the program's quality moving forward.
When was the last Invitation issued?
The last Invitation was issued on May 4, 2011. The Invitation closed on August 1, 2011.
When will the next Invitation be issued?
A date has not yet been set for the next Invitation. If you would like to be notified when the next Invitation is issued, please send your contact information to the program staff at email@example.com.
Where do I get a copy of the Invitation?
For informational purposes only, you may click here to download a copy of the previous Invitation. The archived Invitation may be also be found on the Become a Partner University section of this website. Please note that future Invitations may have a different focus or different requirements. If you have problems downloading the archived Invitation, simply contact Coverdell Fellows Program staff at 855.855.1961 ext. 1440 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Whom do I contact if I have questions?
You may contact the Coverdell Fellows staff. You can also learn more by viewing webinars developed to assist schools in preparing proposals for the previous Invitation. These archived webinars are for informational purposes only. Future Invitations may have a different focus or different requirements.
There already is a Coverdell Fellows partnership on my campus, do I need to submit a proposal to expand it?
Existing partners may have the option of not writing a proposal, depending on the circumstances of their expansion. A program may be expanded without submitting a new proposal as long as all of the following conditions are met:
1) The degree(s) to be added are housed within the same discipline(s)
as the other(s) currently offered;
2) Fellows admitted to the new degree programs will be extended
all of the same programmatic benefits as others currently enrolled; and
3) Fellows admitted to the new degree programs will be subject to all of the
same programmatic requirements as others currently enrolled.
If all of the above conditions are met, existing partners may expand their programs simply by sending written notification–email is fine–with the relevant details to email@example.com.
If any of the above conditions are not met, the partner will need to submit a proposal during an open Invitation cycle. Currently, our Invitation cycle is closed. If you would like to be notified when the next Invitation is issued, please send your contact information to the program staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Does Peace Corps provide any financial aid for Fellows?
At this point in time, Peace Corps does not have a large enough budget to provide any financial aid to Fellows. Peace Corps does give Volunteers a $275 readjustment allowance for every month of service they finish, however, how this money is spent is completely up to the Volunteer.
Does Peace Corps require a specific dollar amount of financial aid be provided to Fellows?
No, Peace Corps does not require a specific dollar amount or a specific percentage of cost be provided to Fellows; it’s determined by the school. We suggest that you take a four-step approach in deciding the appropriate level and type of aid for your school:
1) Determine the total cost of attendance, including non-academic costs.
2) Determine the amount of financial aid that will make your school
competitive with the other schools to which Fellows may be
3) Determine the baseline amount of financial aid that you can provide
to each of the optimum number of Fellows that you would like to enroll
in any given year.
4) Keep in mind that financial aid doesn't just mean tuition remission.
To reduce the cost of attendance, some schools are quite creative with
their financial aid packages and include items such as medical
insurance, housing, or book stipends.
For the Fellows’ internship placements, what constitutes an “underserved American community”?
Because every community faces a unique set of challenges, there are no hard and fast rules for determining what constitutes an “underserved American community.” Each school is best suited to making this determination based on the socioeconomic needs of the community, the professional development needs of the Fellows, and the academic needs of the school.
Why don’t international internships count?
When will I find out if my proposal for the 2011 Invitation has been accepted?
Final decisions on which proposals will be accepted will be made by September 26, 2011. All schools that submitted proposals will be notified by email no later than close of business on September 30, 2011 as to the status of their proposals.
Last updated May 17 2013
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