Summer Experience Grants
The Summer Experience Grant applications for summer 2023 will open in March 2023.
About Summer Experience Grants
The Summer Experience Grant (SEG) is a collection of summer funding awards that provide financial support for students to complete summer unpaid or minimally paid career-related experiences. SEG supports students with living expenses, transportation, and travel so that these essential experiences are available to all of our students, who may otherwise not be able to afford them. The selection process is competitive, as we receive a large number of high quality applications for a limited amount of funding. Each college’s career office reviews applications for their own students. Administration of the grant is coordinated by a committee from various college career offices.
The Summer Experience Grant application connects students to a variety of summer funding opportunities based on their primary college. See details below about the funding available to students:
ALL UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS
Students in from all undergraduate colleges will be considered for the following awards:
- Student Assembly Summer Experience Grant - The maximum award for Student Assembly is $5,000.
The Dr. JW Landau Summer Experience Fund for Veterans - This award was created in 2021 to support veteran students pursuing unpaid or minimally paid summer experiences, such as internships and research. This award is available to undergraduates who have served at least one year of honorable service in one of the US military branches. Up to $3,600 will be awarded each summer.
- Vicki Saporta Social Justice Internship Fund - This award is open to eligible ILR/Cornell students who will work in nonprofit organizations, domestic or international, that pursue progressive agendas, including, but not limited to, women's rights, women's reproductive health and rights, human rights, workers' rights, organized labor, immigrants' rights, environmental conservation, gun control, animal welfare, and labor unions. The intern role itself should involve active engagement in the organization's focus. Preference is given to ILR students.
- All Colleges Summer Experience Grant - This award is open to undergraduates from all Colleges. Students may receive up to $5,000, due to generosity of alumni donors.
By completing the SEG application, students will be eligible for all grants for which you are eligible, which may include Student Assembly and college-specific awards.
COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES STUDENTS
Undergraduate students in the College of Arts & Sciences will be considered for A&S specific awards. For 2022 we have over $500,000 in grant funding available to students with qualifying experiences. Visit the eligibility criteria portion of the website below and take the eligibility screening to determine if your experience qualifies.
A&S funds have a maximum award of $5,000/student. Students residing in university housing (at Cornell or elsewhere) and/or students on financial aid with high need may exceed the $5,000 limit. These applications will be reviewed on a case by case basis. Students should ensure that their budget form and application are detailed and thorough.
In addition to funding available for all eligible experiences there is funding available for:
- students on financial aid
- first-generation college students
- experiences in the field of journalism/communication, with a preference for students from The Cornell Daily Sun
- experiences in think tank/government in Washington, DC (Berger Grant). Students wishing to be considered for the Berger Grant must have a faculty member complete a short recommendation survey.
A&S students are also eligible for Student Contribution funding. There will be a separate application made available for students to apply.
SCHOOL OF INDUSTRIAL & LABOR RELATIONS (ILR) STUDENTS
Students in ILR will be considered for Student Assembly SEG awards and a variety of ILR Alumni - Funded awards. ILR provides funding to both BSILR and MILR students. MILRs are not eligible for the Student Assembly SEG awards. However, MILRs are eligible for some ILR specific awards and should apply through the SEG application. BSILR students that apply to the SEG will be considered for both Student Assembly SEG and ILR specific awards.
COLLEGE OF AGRICULTURE AND LIFE SCIENCES (CALS) STUDENTS
Students in CALS will be considered for Student Assembly SEG awards.
CORNELL IN HOLLYWOOD STUDENTS
The Cornell in Hollywood (CIH) Fund is given by the Cornell Club of LA for two (2) students participating in CIH. Students in all 7 undergraduate colleges are eligible for this fund, given that they are participating in CIH. The funding dispersal date for this grant will be later than the other funds as students await internship placement. Unfortunately, due to the status of the Cornell in Hollywood program, we are unable to grant funds for the program this year. As the status of this program is updated, we will update the website.
STUDENTS MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA TO BE ELIGIBLE:
- Currently enrolled matriculated undergraduate student for the spring semester; must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at Cornell and in good academic standing.
- Students who are transferring to another institution for fall and leave the institution are not eligible for funding, and/or may have funding rescinded.
- Returning to complete at least one full-time semester of coursework towards their bachelor’s degree at Cornell following the summer experience.
- Students who are taking a leave of absence for the Fall 2022 semester will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
- Have a written offer for a career-related summer experience that is 1) unpaid or minimally paid* and 2) at least 4 weeks in length, working at least 15 hours/week. The offer does NOT yet need to be accepted.
- Students planning to work less than 4 weeks or less than15 hours/week who think their experience should qualify should contact us to discuss the situation.
*Examples of a minimally paid experience include: a minimum wage paying experience, a lunch allowance, small stipend, or an honorarium. Stipends and other forms of compensation should be included on the Budget portion of the application and will be deducted from the requested amount and evaluated on a case by case basis. If you are awarded and find out later that you will receive compensation, the amount will be deducted from the original award. Generally, a minimally paid experience is one where your living expenses for the summer exceed your income.
ELIGIBLE EXPERIENCES INCLUDE:
- Any career-related experience supervised by a staff member at the organization – it does not have to be a formal internship.
- Research assistant experience supervised by a principal investigator, post-doc staff, or faculty member.
- Volunteer experience supervised by a staff member at the organization.
- Remote experience supervised by a staff member at the organization.
- Students participating in Cornell in Hollywood, CALS Global Fellows, and the Summer on the Cuyahoga
NON-ELIGIBLE EXPERIENCES INCLUDE:
- Fee based programs - any program that charges tuition or a fee. Exceptions may be made for programs in the performing arts, on a case by case basis.
- Cornell programs:
- Cornell in Washington
- Cornell Urban Semester (Practicing Medicine, Practicing Health Equity)
- Cornell Pre-Law Summer Program
- Engineering Project Teams
- Global Health minor programs
- Harold Tanner Dean's Scholars Program
- Milstein Summer Program
- Nexus Scholars Program
- Rawlings Presidential Research Program
- most other college-based program charging tuition/program fees (at Cornell or any other university).
- Research that is supervised by a graduate student. Research experiences must be supervised by a Principal Investigator or faculty member.
- Personal research projects, such as an honors thesis, personal projects, research projects attached to academic credit, or personal entrepreneurial ventures.
- Pipeline or insight programs which are meant to expose a student to a company, but where the student does not produce a work product.
- Student or student-run entrepreneurial ventures.
- Student organization related projects.
- Summer courses at Cornell or elsewhere.
- Any experience supervised by another student.
- Work at an organization owned by a personal family member, or where you are directly supervised by a family member. A family member may include, but is not limited to: parent, sibling, spouse, aunt, uncle, grandparent, or cousin.
If you believe that your experience should qualify, contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
The Summer Experience Grant will cover eligible experiences that are in international locations. Students may need to petition to travel internationally on essential or non-essential Cornell-related business and research, provided that the financial expenditure has been approved. Currently, undergraduate students must petition the International Travel Health and Safety office and the International Travel Advisory and Response Team (ITART) for travel to CDC COVID or Department of State level 3 or 4 countries so that these teams can evaluate the health and safety aspects of the requested travel. The ITART process may take 4-6 weeks and funding might not be distributed in a timely fashion due to the ongoing nature of the pandemic. Undergraduate students do not need to petition for travel to CDC COVID or Department of State 1 or 2 level countries at this time.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, know that travel authorizations are subject to change and there is no guarantee that funding can be used for international travel at this time.
If you are an international student traveling to your home country, note that funding can not be used to travel from Cornell to your home country and back.
ELIGIBLE EXPENSES FOR THE SEG INCLUDE:
- Moving to and from an experience location (e.g., bus, plane, or train ticket)
- Daily transportation to experience site (e.g., public transportation fare, mileage)
- Living expenses (e.g., rent, utilities, food)
- Equipment and software necessary for the experience
- Supplies necessary for field work or position/industry specific needs
- Professional clothing, lab attire, or other attire needed to complete the experience
- Tips for common expenses can be found here.
NOTE: Students who are award SEG funding will be asked to provide receipts of major expenses, such as rent, commuting costs, travel, etc. at the end of the summer.
EXPENSES NOT ELIGIBLE FOR THE SEG INCLUDE (BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO):
- Clothing other than a required uniform or professional attire, insurance (auto, health, renters), personal travel, entertainment, gym membership, purchase of a vehicle, Tuition
- Student Contribution designated by Financial Aid (A separate application will be made available to A&S students for funding the SC)
We have created an eligibility screening that students can complete anonymously. The screening is NOT attached to your application. We encourage you to complete the screening BEFORE beginning your application to ensure that your experience is eligible for funding. Based on your answers, you will receive feedback about the eligibility and viability of your summer experience as it relates to SEG requirements and guidelines.
- Take the eligibility screening > (NOTE: This is NOT the application)
- Come to this year's information session on Wednesday, March 9 from 4:30-6:00 pm. Register via Handshake here.
We encourage you to schedule an appointment with us if you find that you have questions after taking the screening and reviewing the information on this page. SEG Office Hours are set for most Tuesdays from 2:30-4pm, Thursdays 11-12pm, and Fridays from 2-3:30pm.
Selection of Grant Recipients
The Selection Committee will evaluate applications based on financial need, fit with career interests and goals, benefit to student, thoroughness of proposal, and effort in identifying and securing the experience.
We encourage all students to apply, however students with high financial need will be given preference. If you have extenuating circumstances contributing to your need, make that case in your application. The selection committee, comprised of staff representatives from all undergraduate colleges, reserves the right to question the method(s) used to arrive at any figure provided in the expenses and income sections of the application. We may adjust the amount of funding awarded to applicants accordingly.
The application is housed on the Cornell Experience Site and consists of personal information, summer experience information, short answer questions, income and expense budget forms, and requires several supplemental documents via the application portal. We ask students to redact their names from their resume and experience confirmation to eliminate bias in the decision-making process. A&S Career Development is not responsible for technical difficulties if you wait until last minute to submit your materials.
Application Page Overview:
In this section you will provide detail about the experience you are participating in this summer. It includes the organization, your position, start and end dates, hours, and supervisor information. For those doing research, there are specific questions about how your research will be completed. This is also where specific information for the Berger and Dr. JW Landau Summer Experience Fund for Veterans. Dyson and Nolan students, please select Johnson as your Primary College then select your respective school from the list.
Essay and Short Questions
Essay Questions: 1500 character limit which equals to anywhere between 210-380 words per response.
- What are your career goals and interests? How does this experience fit with your career goals and interests?
- What are your expected responsibilities in this role? Feel free to reference a position description, but summarize your responsibilities in your own words.
- What do you hope to learn from this experience? Examples can include specific skills you hope to gain, career insights, interest in a certain academic field, etc.
Funding and Financial Aid Information
Financial Aid Award Summary – if you received Financial Aid this year, please send your 2021-2022 Financial Aid Award Summary as a PDF via Cornell’s Secure File Transfer to email@example.com. The Summary should show your aid received for 2021-2022. For this document, please name and save your document with your Last name + Student ID Number + SEG Financial Aid (Ex:"Smith-1111111-SEG Financial Aid"). Your summary can be downloaded from the Student Center.
In this section you will calculate the total cost and explanation of that expense in the following categories for the number of weeks that you will be doing your experience. Tips for common expenses can be found here.
- Rent - not to exceed $1,500/month.
- Utilities - This can include electric, water, wi-fi, and cell phone service costs.
- Travel - This can include travel to an in person experience that is not in your hometown.
- Commuting Costs - When calculating this expense, consider the difference between daily and monthly fares, and if a city has a student rate. For car commuting you can calculate a rate of 59 cents/ mile. To do this use Google maps to determine the number of miles round-trip, multiply that by .59 and then by the number of days you plan on commuting.
- Food or miscellaneous living expenses - allocate $100/ week for this expense. Note, this does include laundry and dry cleaning already.
- Other Expenses
In this section we ask you to document and explain any sources of income or take home pay you may receive over the summer, either from the experience, other grants, a summer job, or family. If making any income, we'll want to know your take-home income with taxes taken out. You can calculate estimated taxes here.
You can use this space to explain any other information that may be helpful to the reviewer. They could include:
Additional work/volunteer/academic/other endeavors that you will be involved in this summer
Any additional information about your funding needs
Any additional information you would like us to know when considering your application (Example: Doing an 8-week internship but only working 15 hours/week because I have to take care of my little sister 3 days/week)
Upload the most recent copy of your resume in PDF Format. Please redact your name from the resume before you submit. When you upload your resume as a PDF – please name your document with your Student ID Number + Resume (Ex:"1111111-Resume").
Experience Confirmation Upload
Upload your Experience Confirmation as a PDF or JPEG file format. This should be a written confirmation of your offer for your summer experience from your experience supervisor or organization. It can be a screen shot of an email or an official offer letter. You do not need to have accepted this offer to be eligible for the SEG. When you upload your information, remove or blackout any identifying information such as your name on your confirmation before you upload in order to assist the blind – read review process. Please do save the file in following format: Student ID Number +SEG Experience Confirmation (Ex: "1111111-SEG Experience Confirmation").
This is the last page of the application to verify that the information provided is correct before it is submitted.
Q: HOW DOES THE PROCESS WORK?
- Student submits application, including all necessary supplementary materials (listed in below section)
- Applications are reviewed by your college career office.
- For candidates moving forward:
- You will be asked to submit a grant disclosure form describing any other sources of funding you will be receiving.
- Cornell will email your experience supervisor, asking them to submit a verification form, which includes start and end dates, compensation (if any), and other relevant information regarding the experience.
- At this stage, funding is NOT guaranteed.
- Once the SEG committee receives both the grant disclosure form and the Experience Verification, it is reviewed against your application for accuracy and adjustments.
- If that review is successful, then students will be asked to sign and return paperwork to accept and finalize their grant. The grant is finalized ONLY upon receipt of this contract.
- Once the contract is received, the request for funds will be submitted to Financial Aid
- Once processed by Financial Aid, the student will receive a reimbursement check or direct deposit refund for the sum of the grant awarded.
- Funding will be provided in the form of a reimbursement, meaning that the student is responsible for making and paying for their own travel arrangements, reservations, and other expenditures. The grant will help to offset some or all of the costs.
As a note: Arrival of funds is contingent upon processing at Financial Aid. Last year this process took 3-4 weeks once the student signed their grant contract. The A&S Career Development office has no ability to expedite funding. We appreciate your patience in the processing of your check.
Q: I WAS DENIED FUNDING. CAN I APPEAL THE DECISION AND/OR CAN I KNOW THE REASON WHY I WAS DENIED?
No. For the 2022 application period, we had over 500 applications. Unfortunately, we do not have enough funding for all students who applied; therefore, we prioritized students on Financial Aid. We cannot disclose the reason(s) why a student was denied funding. All funding decisions are final.
Q: WILL I AUTOMATICALLY RECEIVE THE FULL AMOUNT OF MONEY THAT I REQUESTED?
- No, the selection committee, comprised of staff representatives from all undergraduate colleges, reserves the right to question the method(s) used to arrive at any figure provided in the expenses and income sections of the application. We may adjust the amount of funding awarded to applicants accordingly. This may result in a decrease or increase in your funding award.
As a note, students should adhere to the tips for common expenses, which can be found here.
Q: I DON'T NEED FUNDING FOR SUMMER EXPENSES, BUT I DO NEED HELP WITH MY STUDENT CONTRIBUTION. CAN THE SEG COVER THAT?
- No, the SEG does not cover lost wages or the Student Contribution. Therefore, it should not be included on your budget form. However, Arts & Sciences has a separate funding application for the Student Contribution. A&S students can apply for Student Contribution funding. The application and information for Student Contribution funding will be provided to A&S students once the application is live.
Q: WHAT IF MY EXPERIENCE CHANGES AFTER BEING OFFERED AN SEG AWARD?
- A: Students who are offered an award based on an experience from the organization designated in their original application, but then accept an experience from a different employer not detailed in their proposal, must email our office and then submit an updated application. Based on a review of the updated application which provides details of the new experience, the committee will either: 1) alter the award; 2) make a new award; or 3) withdraw the award. Students who were approved for funding for an experience are not guaranteed funding if they change their experience.
Q: WHAT IF I HAVE NOT SECURED A SUMMER OPPORTUNITY YET, BUT AM IN THE PROCESS?
- A: Students must be able to provide an employer confirmation at the time of application. Therefore, we will not review an application for a pending summer experience. Please wait to apply until you have secured a written offer or agreement with your summer opportunity employer. We will accept an official offer letter or screen shot of email confirmation.
Q: WHAT IF I CANNOT COMPLETE THE ENTIRE DURATION OF MY PROPOSED EXPERIENCE?
- A: If the experience ends prematurely, funding will be pro-rated according to time worked. You may be responsible for returning funds if they have already been dispersed. This decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Q: HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE FOR ME TO GET THE FUNDS?
- A: Once grants are awarded, students will be asked to submit paperwork to finalize the acceptance of their award. Once all paperwork is received, the request for funds will be submitted to Financial Aid. After the request is sent to Financial Aid, it can take up to 4 weeks to receive funding in your account. Students are encouraged to set up direct deposit with the bursar's office.
Q: ARE INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS ELIGIBLE?
- A: Yes! All currently enrolled, matriculated undergraduate students enrolled in a degree-granting program at Cornell are eligible.
Q: CAN A&S CAREER DEVELOPMENT SPEED UP THE PROCESSING OF MY FUNDING?
- A: No. Once the request is made to Financial Aid, we have no ability to expedite funding. Any questions about the dispersal process should be directed to the Financial Aid Office or Bursar's Office.
Q: CAN I GET ACADEMIC CREDIT FOR MY SUMMER EXPERIENCE?
- A: If your employer requires credit or other documentation, reach out to your College Career Office for information about how to gain credit. Additionally, if you are considering unpaid, credit-bearing experiences with for-profit organizations, you should consider the U.S. Department of Labor's criteria for these programs when evaluating opportunities.