Peace Corps:

Status of the Educational Assistance Grants Demonstration Program

NSIAD-94-89: Published: Feb 25, 1994. Publicly Released: Feb 25, 1994.

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Pursuant to a legislative requirement, GAO evaluated the Corporation for National and Community Service's, formerly known as the Commission on National and Community Service, demonstration program for providing financial assistance grants to minority students in exchange for Peace Corps service.

GAO found that: (1) the Peace Corps has not fully implemented the demonstration program, does not expect the program to be fully operational until mid-1994, and does not expect any student under the program to enter the Peace Corps until 1995; (2) delays in establishing the Corporation's operational structure, extended negotiations between the Corporation and the Peace Corps, and a lengthy start-up period at the Peace Corps have contributed to the implementation delays; (3) the Peace Corps has targeted institutions with high populations of underrepresented groups for program participation and also considers the extent to which courses and degree awards match the Peace Corps' special needs; (4) the Peace Corps accepted $100,000 of the $200,000 the Corporation allocated for the program in fiscal year (FY) 1993, but did not award any grants in FY 1993 and carried the funds over into FY 1994; and (5) university officials have expressed concerns about the program's implementation schedule and limited funding, the Peace Corps' limited presence and visibility on campuses, and scheduling difficulties.

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