President's Volunteer Service Award: FAQs
1. What are the award criteria?
Any individual, family or group that meets the program’s criteria can receive Presidential recognition for volunteer hours served over a 12-month period or over the course of a lifetime. Criteria for recognition are:
- Recipients must be United States citizens or lawfully admitted permanent residents of the United States.
- Awards are issued for service hours served within a 12-month time period or over the course of a lifetime.
- Awards are issued for volunteer service only. Additional levels of participation with the organization, i.e. charitable support, are not a factor considered for the award.
- Court-ordered community service does not qualify for the award.
- Awards are issued by approved Certifying Organizations. The Student Community Service is an approved Certifying Organization.
- Service must be with an organization that is legally established in the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico or one of the territories.
- The Student Community Service can verify volunteer hours for the previous year beginning in April until April of the current year. The SCS will recognize students each April.
2. Who is eligible for the award?
Any student, staff, or faculty member who volunteers and keeps a record of their activities through the President’s Volunteer Service Awards website.
3. How many hours do I need to qualify for each award category?
- Young Adults: 100 to 174 hours
- Adults: 100 to 249 hours
- Groups: 200 to 499 hours*
- Young Adults: 175 to 249 hours
- Adults: 250 to 499 hours
- Groups: 500 to 999 hours*
- Young Adults: 250 hours or more
- Adults: 500 hours or more
- Groups: 1000 hours or more*
*We have eliminated the Group Awards from our system and will not be recognizing them.
4. May I apply service hours that I completed as part of an AmeriCorps program or received a stipend?
- Volunteer hours must be non-paid hours.* (If volunteer is being paid a stipend hours served are not eligible.)
*AmeriCorps participants are allowed to apply the hours served during their stipend year towards the lifetime achievement award following your active year.
5. How does SCS verify my hours?
- You must create an account on the www.presidentialserviceawards.gov and log your hours.
- Create your online profile and add the UT Austin code, VXT-51035, in the “your record of service key” tracking box. Do not add this code under the tab “Groups.”
- Begin adding hours for the past 12 months by clicking “Create New Record” under the “My Service” tab. You will have 12 months from the date of your first entry to complete your hours (If your first hour log starts April 2013 you have until April 1, 2014, to submit hours for your particular recognition, i.e. Gold, Silver, or Bronze Award.
- All hours entered must be able to be verified upon request through the agency at which you volunteered.
6. Can I receive an award every year?
- Yes, an individual may receive an award every year but must follow all the requirements as described above including submission of documentation.
- You may also consider receiving the Lifetime award which requires 4,000 hours to be contributed towards the award.
7. By when must the hours be submitted?
Hours must be submitted by April 1 of each year. The 12-month time period the Student Community Service Office certifies hours for is April 1 to March 31 each year.
8. How far back can I track my hours?
You may track your hours as far back as January 2004. However, hours accrued before April 1, 2013, will only count towards the lifetime award.