Summer Experience Grants

The Summer Experience Grant application for summer 2022 will be available in spring 2022. 

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.

Alexis Petterson '21 (right) at her summer experience with the U.S. State Department in Barcelona, Spain.
Alexis Petterson '21 (right) at her summer experience with the U.S. State Department in Barcelona, Spain.

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 Student Assembly SEG awards. 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. The maximum award for Student Assembly is $3,000.

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 $5000 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, students that are first generation, experiences in the field of journalism/communication, and 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 and CALS specific 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.

Eligibility Criteria

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 2021 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.
  • 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 as_careers@cornell.edu to discuss.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCES

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

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) 

ELIGIBILITY SCREENING:

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. 

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.

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. 

Application Details

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:

This section will be updated in Spring 2022 once the application is finalized and will walk you through each page of the application.

ESSAY AND SHORT ANSWER QUESTIONS: 

Essay Questions: 1500 character limit

  • What are your career goals and interests and how does this experience fit?      
  • What are your expected responsibilities in this role?  
  • What do you hope to learn from this experience?

Short Answer questions: 

  • Describe your financial circumstances to help us understand your funding needs.
  • What would you do if you were not granted funding?
  • Please provide any additional information that would help us to understand the scope of your proposal.

REQUIRED SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIALS:

All documents should be submitted as PDFs. 

  • Budget Form – consists of expected expenses and income for the duration of the summer experience. This year, the budget will be part of the application form. 
    • Tips for common expenses can be found here
    • If making any income, we'll want to know your take-home income. You can calculate estimated taxes here
  • Resume – redact your name from the resume before you submit.
  • Financial Aid Award Summary – you will need to download your 2021-2022 aid summary from Student Center. DO NOT redact your name from this document. Send your 2021-2022 Financial Aid Award Summary as a PDF via the  Secure File Transfer site to ses383@cornell.edu. For this document, please name and save your document with your Student ID Number (Ex:"1111111-SEG Financial Aid").
  • Experience Confirmation – a confirmation that you have been offered a career-related experience by the employer detailed in your application. This can be an official offer letter or a screenshot of an email communication. Redact your name from the document you submit.

 

FAQs

Q: HOW DOES FUNDING WORK?

  • Student submits application, including all necessary supplementary materials (listed in below section)
  • Applications are reviewed. Successful candidates will be asked to sign and return paperwork to accept and finalize their grant. This includes a verification form from the experience supervisor. 
  • 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.
  • Once all paperwork is received, the request for funds will be submitted to Financial Aid (please allow at least 2 weeks for processing)
  • Once processed by Financial Aid, the student will receive a reimbursement check or direct deposit refund for the sum of the grant awarded. 

As a note: Financial Aid asks for at least 2 weeks for funding to process and be dispersed to the student. Arrival of funds is contingent upon processing at Financial Aid. The A&S Career Development office has no ability to expedite funding. We appreciate your patience in the processing of your check.

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.

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 anywhere from 1-3 weeks to receive funding in your account. Students are encouraged to set up direct deposit.

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.
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