The Summer Experience Grant application period is currently closed.
While many summer experiences are paid, others, such as government and political groups, media companies and nonprofits, are not. Often students identify volunteer opportunities around the world that require some money for travel and living expenses.
Tips and resources for identifying summer funding are outlined below. We encourage you to make an appointment with a career advisor to discuss your specific situation.
You might want to start with the Cornell Career Services Library searchable database, Link Library and the Opportunities Marketplace, which include information about grants, travel grants and fellowships. Also check out Cornell-affiliated programs and grants. In addition to these grants, you can read through other funding opportunities for A&S students.
About Summer Experience Grant
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. It aims to help students who would not be able to take on a summer career-related experience or would have a difficult time doing so. The selection process is extremely competitive, as we receive a large number of high quality applications for a limited amount of funding. Each college’s career office completes the grant review process for their own students. Administration of the grant is coordinated by A&S Career Development.
The Summer Experience Grant application connects students to a variety of summer funding opportunities based on their primary college. The colleges that have funding outside of the Student Assembly SEG awards are A&S, ILR, and CALS.
Students in all 7 undergraduate colleges are eligible to apply for Student Assembly SEG awards. The maximum award is $3,000/student.
Students in the College of Arts & Sciences are eligible for a variety of A&S specific awards as well as the Student Assembly SEG awards. All of the A&S funds have a maximum award of $5,000/student. A&S students that apply to the SEG will be considered for both Student Assembly SEG and A&S specific awards These A&S specific funds provide support in specific areas or needs:
- Students with demonstrated financial need
- Students who are first-generation
- Experiences at a think tank/government related positions in Washington DC
- Experiences at a start-up or entrepreneurial venture
- Experiences in healthcare
- Experiences in the federal government
- International experiences
- Experiences in the field of journalism and communications
Students in ILR are eligible for a variety of ILR specific awards as well as the Student Assembly SEG awards. ILR provides funding to both BSILR and MILR students. MILRs are not eligible for the Student Assembly SEG. However, MILRs are eligible for ILR specific funds 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
Students in CALS are eligible for a variety of CALS specific awards as well as the Student Assembly SEG awards. CALS students that apply to the SEG will be considered for both Student Assembly SEG and CALS specific awards
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. The funding dispersal date for this grant will be later than the other funds as students await internship placement.
Students must meet the following criteria to be eligible for a Student Assembly SEG:
- Currently enrolled, matriculated undergraduate student; must be enrolled in a degree-granting program at Cornell and in good academic standing.
- Students who are transferring to another institution for Fall 2020 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 2020 semester will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
- Have an offer for a career-related summer experience that is 1) unpaid or minimally paid* and 2) at least 4 weeks in length where you will be working at least 15 hours/week. You do NOT have to have accepted the offer yet.
- If you are planning to work less than 15 hours/week and think that your experience should qualify, please email us to discuss your situation
*Examples of a minimally paid experience include: a lunch allowance, small stipend, or an honorarium. Stipends and other forms of compensation should be included on the Budget Form 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.
Eligible experiences include:
- Any career-related experience – it does not have to be a formal internship.
- Research assistant experience supervised by a Principal Investigator or faculty member
Non-eligible experiences include:
- Fee based programs - any program that charges tuition or a fee. If you go through a company that finds you an experience for a fee, or you are doing an experience through a program that charges tuition, it is ineligible. Exceptions may be made for programs in the performing arts, on a case by case basis. (Students outside of performing arts: if you believe that your experience should qualify, please contact us to discuss)
- Cornell in Washington, Practicing Medicine, Cornell Pre-Law Summer Program, Global Health minor programs, or any other college-based program charging tuition/program fees (at Cornell or any other university) Exception: Cornell in Hollywood
- Personal research projects
- Personal projects or personal entrepreneurial ventures
- Taking classes, at Cornell or elsewhere
- Research that is supervised by a graduate student. Research experiences must be supervised by a Principal Investigator or faculty member.
Eligible expenses for the SEG include:
- Travel to and from an experience location (e.g. bus, plane, or train ticket)
- Daily transportation to experience site (e.g. subway fare, mileage)
- Living expenses (e.g. rent, food)
- 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
- Personal travel
- Cell phone bill
- Gym membership
- Purchase of a vehicle
Important Dates for 2020
The following timeline is to serve as a general guide for the selection process. A&S applicants are strongly encouraged to apply earlier rather than later. These dates are subject to change based on number of applications received. We request your patience throughout the process.
March 18 – Application opens
April 19 – Priority deadline*. Applications due by 11:59pm (EST)
May 8 – Notifications sent to applicants. Applicants will receive a decision via email.
May 22 – Deadline for recipients to submit paperwork to accept and finalize grant
Mid-June – Funds disbursed to students
Any questions? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, call us at 607-255-4166, or visit our office in 172 Goldwin Smith Hall.
Selection of Grant Recipients
The Selection Committee will evaluate applications based on the following factors:
- Financial need
- Fit with career interests and goals
- Benefit to student
- Thoroughness of proposal
- 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 seven colleges, also reserves the right to question the method(s) used to arrive at any figure provided in the Budget Proposal and to adjust the amount of funding awarded to applicants.
The application consists of personal information, summer experience information, five (5) short answer and four (4) supplemental documents via the application portal. A&S Career Development is not responsible for technical difficulties if you wait until last minute to submit your materials.
The priority deadline is Sunday, April 19 at 11:59pm (EST). Submitting your application BY the priority deadline guarantees that the committee will review your application.
After all priority applications have been reviewed the committee will begin reading late applications, if time permits. If you receive an offer for an experience AFTER the priority deadline, we strongly encourage you to still apply, as there may be funding remaining.
Required supplemental materials:
All documents should be submitted as PDFs.
- Resume – the committee reads applications blind, so please remove your name and email from the resume you submit.
- Budget Form (download by clicking here) – consists of expected expenses and income for the duration of the summer experience.
- Financial Aid Award Summary – you will need to download your 2019-2020 aid summary from Student Center.
- 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.
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.
- 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: 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 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 infomation 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.