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The President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA)

President's Volunteer Service Award Logo

American University is an organization that can certify the President's Volunteer Service Award (PVSA) to volunteers. This award is meant to honor students attending American University who commit to at least 100 hours of community service. This is also a coveted and unique addition to resumes and job applications!

To be considered for this award, students must register on its GivePulse page to track hours officially. Please click the button below to get started.

PVSA GivePulse Registration

Recognized individuals will receive a PVSA medallion in addition to a personalized certificate of achievement and letter signed by the President of the United States. Service hours are counted in two ways, both in a 12-month period:

Calendar Year: Jan 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023

Academic Year: April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024

When registering for PVSA on GivePulse, students must select which eligibility period they would like their service to count towards the award. Switching eligibility periods are done on as case-by-case basis by explaining one's situation and requesting this change directly to PVSA@american.edu. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us!

Award Tiers By Age Group
Age Group Bronze Silver Gold Lifetime Achievement Award
Young Adults (16–25) 100–174 hours 175–249 hours 250+ hours 4,000+ hours
Adults (26+) 100–249 hours 250–499 hours 500+ hours 4,000+ hours

 

 

PVSA medals

Additional Requirements

As part of the PVSA administration at American University, students must additionally complete two requirements: one brief narrative and one photo. Both must be submitted to PVSA by the last day of the respective eligibility period. Late submissions will not be accepted and may disqualify you from receiving your PVSA. Please note that both components will be published publicly.

Submissions must be sent directly to PVSA@american.edu. Please include your name and AU ID number when sending your email.

Narrative Requirement

Students must submit a brief narrative (less than 500 words) answering the following question: Describe your service experience as an student. Why did you decide to engage in service and what did you learn from your experience?

Photo Requirement

Students must submit one photo that represents their service experience while pursuing PVSA. Photos of important moments will be considered. Students are allowed up to five submissions. All photos must be digital, clear, and include the face of the prospective awardee. If the service time has been with children and/or other vulnerable populations, please instead submit a professional head shot instead.

Eligibility at AU

  • Current American University student registered on GivePulse
  • United States citizen or lawful permanent resident of the United States (i.e., green card holder)
  • Completes eligible service within one of the two eligibility periods (for annual Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards) and over a lifetime (for Lifetime Achievement Awards)
  • Complete additional requirements listed on this website

Eligible Service

  • Unpaid acts of volunteer service benefitting others
    • Service through National service programs that provide a stipend (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) may count towards the Lifetime Achievement Award, but not for the annual Bronze, Silver, and Gold Awards)
    • Travel stipends, transit/parking passes, membership passes, expense reimbursements, and other nominal volunteer support do not impact service eligibility

Eligible Service does not include:

  • Donating funds
  • Political lobbying (Non-partisan voter registration is an eligible activity)
  • Religious instruction
  • Conducting worship service
  • Proselytizing
  • Volunteer service performed as part of court-ordered community service
  • Serving only family members

 

Frequently Asked Questions

You would simply not receive the PVSA. Alternatively, you can email PVSA@american.edu for consideration to switch eligibility periods. 

No. The award package is provided by the university to recognize your commitment of serving others.

The Center for Community Engagement and Service (CCES) located on-campus at MGC 273. Feel free to visit to learn more about PVSA in-person.

Definitely, as long as they are not "ineligible service" and are logged accurately on GivePulse. 

First, establish an account on GivePulse by clicking “Log into my AU Portal” when prompted. Then, register on the PVSA webpage

Technically, yes! However, the eligibility period still is one year and is set by AU so you'd either need 100hrs in a "calendar year" (January 1 to December 31) or "academic year" (April 1 to March 31 of the following year).

Yes. As long as your service hours lands within the eligibility period and you submit your hours before the last day of the period. 

A student must have their community partner become an “Affiliate” on GivePulse, which allows them to become an admin and have verification privileges. Check out our GivePulse tab on the left for more information on how to become an Affiliate.

We encourage community partners to become an Affiliate. However, if there are reasonable obstacles, please contact PVSA@american.edu for manual input. Be prepared to provide information for the point of contact to verify your hours. 

If you have earned eligible hours, CCES will process an award package for you. Then, you will be notified of your eligibility and instructions for receiving your award package.

If they are intended to impact your service-learning experience, then yes. However, CCES has the right to not count training that it deems ineligible. 

Travel stipends, transit/parking passes, membership passes, expense reimbursements, and other nominal volunteer support (like food) do not impact service eligibility.

Yes! As long as that service is benefiting others in the community (preferably though nonprofit organizations), and is tracked and verified in GivePulse.

The Lifetime Achievement Award is for anyone who completes 4,000+ hours of service in their lifetime (not restricted to a calendar year).

To apply for it, please contact PVSA@american.edu and provide records, which can prove your completion of at least 4000 hours.