Look through these lists to find answers to the most frequently asked questions. If you don't find the information you need, the Office of University Programs staff is available to answer your questions by telephone at 855.855.1961 ext. 1440 and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Office hours are 9:30 a.m.–5:30 p.m. (Eastern time) 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 support and a career-related internship. They recognize the value you will bring to their classrooms, campuses, and communities, and have worked with Peace Corps staff to design programs that will help make your graduate school experience as rewarding as possible.
Will the Coverdell Fellows Program give me money to go to the university of my choice?
The Coverdell Fellows Program isn't a scholarship program. The program includes financial support for fellows, but the type and amount of assistance is decided by the partner university.
How do I apply to the Coverdell Fellows Program?
Each partner university has its own application process and deadlines. Review the partner universities page for schools and programs that interest you, then look for application requirements and contact information. When you send in your application, be sure to indicate to the university that you are applying to the Coverdell Fellows Program. You do not need to submit anything to the Peace Corps.
Will I receive academic credit for my Peace Corps service?
Each university partner determines its own benefits, which may include academic credit or waivers for Peace Corps service. Check the university’s website for specifics regarding academic credit and any other requirements.
Can I serve as an international intern as a Peace Corps Fellow?
All Peace Corps Coverdell 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 the U.S. 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 I am interested in attending?
The Peace Corps adds universities to the Coverdell Fellows Program on a rolling basis. Becoming a partner requires a good deal of time, effort, and cooperation between the university and the Peace Corps. The first step is to review the information on this website about how to become a partner university. Then, have a school representative talk to someone in the Peace Corps Office of University and Domestic Partnerships.
Are there other resources available to returned Peace Corps Volunteers?
The Office of Returned Volunteer Services and the Peace Corps regional offices are eager to facilitate returned Volunteers' transition to post-Peace Corps life. Returned Volunteer Services assists with employment and education resources, staying connected with other returned VVolunteers, Third Goal activities, and Peace Corps Response. For more information about what Returned Volunteer Services provides, visit www.peacecorps.gov/engage. To find your regional office, please click here.
How do I obtain a copy of my description of service?
To request a copy of your description of service, which is needed for your fellows application, please contact Volunteer and PSC Financial Services via email at email@example.com or call 855.855.1961, ext. 1770.
How does being a fellow affect my federal noncompetitive eligibility status?
For recently returned Peace Corps Volunteers, your noncompetitive eligibility 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.
How can my school apply to partner with the Peace Corps for the Coverdell Fellows Program?
You may contact the Peace Corps University Programs staff at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855.855.1961 ext. 1440.
There already is a Coverdell Fellows partnership on my campus; do I need to submit a proposal to expand it?
Existing partners may not be required to write a proposal, depending on the circumstances of the expansion. A program may be expanded without submitting a new proposal if all of the following conditions are met:
1) The degree(s) and/or certificate(s) to be added is housed with the same discipline(s) as the other(s) currently offered;
2) Fellows admitted to the new program(s) of study will be extended all of the same program benefits as others currently enrolled; and
3) Fellows admitted to the new program(s) of study will be subject to all of the same program 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 must submit a new proposal. For guidance, please download the Invitation to Participate.
Does Peace Corps provide any financial aid for Fellows?
The Peace Corps does not provide financial support to fellows. However, the Peace Corps gives Volunteers a set readjustment allowance for each month of completed service, which can be spent as the Volunteer chooses.
Does the Peace Corps require a specific dollar amount of financial aid be provided to Fellows?
No, the Peace Corps does not require a specific dollar amount or percentage of tuition reduction/remission be provided to fellows; exact amounts are determined by the school. The Peace Corps recommends a four-step approach to decide the appropriate level and type of support 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 applying. Schools that offer 50-100 percent tuition discounts are among the most competitive programs.
3) Determine the baseline amount of financial support that you can provide to each of the optimum number of fellows 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.
Do international internships qualify? Why not?
The principal purpose of the Coverdell Fellows Program is to help Americans in the U.S. and its territories better understand other peoples, and all Peace Corps Coverdell 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 the U.S. 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.
When will my school find out if its proposal has been accepted?
The Peace Corps Office of University Programs notifies schools of its decision three times yearly. For exact dates, please refer to the Invitation to Participate.