AmeriCorps State and National​ Proposed Rule for Public Comment

On October 6, 2023, the AmeriCorps agency published in the Federal Register proposed revisions to four AmeriCorps State and National regulations (§ 2520.50, § 2521.60, § 2521.70 and § 2522.235). Four “substantive changes” have been proposed, but none meet the goals for regulatory reform that Voices for National Service has been seeking for several years.

There is a 60-day public comment period that will close NEXT TUESDAY, DECEMBER 5. Voices for National Service is strongly encouraging all AmeriCorps State and National stakeholders to submit comments before 11:59 pm EST on Dec. 5, 2023.

Written comments can be submitted electronically through the federal government’s one-stop rulemaking website at Alternatively, you may send your comments to Elizabeth Appel, Associate General Counsel, at or by mail to AmeriCorps (ATTN: Elizabeth Appel), 250 E Street SW, Washington DC 20525.

It is very important that the AmeriCorps agency hears from you!

Voices for National Service is urging programs of all sizes – formula-funded, state competitive, and national direct – to submit comments. The volume of responses received does matter. Plus, it is important that your on-the-ground perspective is offered before the new rules are finalized.

Please submit all comments before 11:59 pm EST on December 5.


(NEW!) CUSTOMIZABLE ‘PUBLIC COMMENT’ TEMPLATEFYI – If the link doesn’t open up automatically, copy & paste the hyperlink into a new tab, and it will auto-download the editable template. 

To help organizations and individuals draft and submit comments, Voices for National Service has prepared a public comment template. This template can be downloaded and customized for your use. It summarizes the concerns that Voices for National Service has with the proposed rule and includes our recommendations for how the rule can be amended to provide grantees and members with more substantial relief from outdated and overly burdensome regulations.

(NEW!) VOICES FOR NATIONAL SERVICE’S PUBLIC COMMENTVoices for National Service will be submitting comments on the proposed rule. Voices for National Service has been advocating for a series of critical improvements to the 30-year-old AmeriCorps program to make service more equitable for participants and those seeking AmeriCorps grants. Informed by on-the-ground experience, Voices continues to push for more substantial changes to the existing regulations to increase benefits for participants and ensure more organizations can access and maximize government resources efficiently and responsibly.


The proposed rule, in effect, would make four substantive changes:

1. Waiver for 20% limit on education and training activities.​

    • AmeriCorps may grant a waiver to allow up to 50% for education/training if the program:
      • is an apprenticeship program;​
      • is a job training/readiness program;​
      • includes activities to support member attainment of GED/diploma/credentials; or​
      • primarily enrolls economically disadvantaged members and provides soft/life skills development. ​
Voices Original Position Concerns with Proposed Rule
  • Remove the “80/20 Rule” to ensure all members – regardless of type of program or length of service term – have opportunity to complete sufficient hours to both prepare for service and enrich their personal and professional development.​
  • Appreciate the intention, but the proposed rule is too limiting.​
  • There are additional rationales to allow all AmeriCorps members to engage in more training, education, and professional development. ​
  • Current rule creates a meaningless administrative burden and compliance risk for grantees. New rule should be a blanket removal and not restricted to the four different types of programs.

2. Modest change to AmeriCorps State and National graduated match scale:

    • Proposes smaller incremental increases from 24% match to 50% at a lower frequency (increases every 3-year grant period, rather than every year).
    • Reaches 50% (or $1 for $1 match) later, in year 16 rather than year 10.
Voices Original Position Concerns with Proposed Rule
  • Repeal graduated match scale (adopted in 2005) and return to the original congressional vision that the federal share of an AmeriCorps State and National grant should not exceed 75%, regardless of years funded.
  • No required match for the first 3-year grant cycle. ​
  • Does not change match scale, which starts at 24% and increases to 50% match over time.​
  • Provides no relief to grantees who have been in operation >16 years.​
  • Assumes relief is only needed for newer grantees that are in geographic areas without a philanthropic community. ​
  • Does not acknowledge that grantees raise a considerable amount to run programs, in excess of the match requirement. ​
  • Ignores that match requires grantees to artificially inflate program expenses in order to accept and spend the allowable cost/member. ​
  • Disregards that 25% match as proposed by Voices meaningfully supports a public-private partnership, and that programs become more sustainable when they are not challenged by an overly stringent match and can maximize use of AmeriCorps funds.

3. Simplifies criteria for waiving AmeriCorps State and National match (currently 4 mandatory criterion).

    • Streamlines match waiver criteria to mirror the AmeriCorps Seniors criteria and adds new criterion to capture small applicants.
    • Grantees must demonstrate one of the following:
      • Difficulty securing funding in first 3 years of operations;
      • Economic downturn/disaster restricting local funding;
      • Unexpected discontinuation of local support; or
      • Organizational revenue less than $500K.
    • Grantee must still provide description of efforts made to raise match under the proposal.
Voices Original Position Concerns with Proposed Rule
  • Provide a transparent and streamlined process for programs to request a match waiver or reduced match during their grant cycle. ​
  • Centralized process should make match relief easier, faster, more transparent, and accessible to a greater number of grantees.​
  • Waiving match requirements is a patch when the agency should be repealing the match scale and returning to 75% federal share requirement as originally authorized by Congress in the National and Community Service Trust Act of 1993.​

4. Removes 4-term limit on service in AmeriCorps State and National programs (regardless of term FT, PT, etc).

    • Terms to be limited to number of terms needed to earn the aggregate value of two full-time education awards.
Voices Original Position Concerns
  • Expand the number of terms an individual can serve in the three AmeriCorps programs to support member recruitment. 
  • Proposed rule should be reworded to ensure members have the option of serving additional terms in ASN, VISTA and NCCC without accruing an education award.

If you have questions about the proposed rule or how to submit public comments for the record, please contact Ray AlQaisi, Voices for National Service’s Director of Congressional Affairs, at