Career Development

Summer Funding: FAQ

Summer 2021 Funding Update

Oberlin College prioritizes and highly encourages students to secure and perform internships that students can complete entirely from their place of residence. If you choose to pursue an in-person summer internship, it must adhere to all federal; state; and local laws, health guidance, rules, regulations, orders, ordinances, and legally binding decrees (“applicable laws”). Oberlin College does not place an expectation or condition on any internship that any students disregard any applicable laws or any students place themselves in harm’s way. 

Timeline

  • Application deadline: Friday, April 23, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. EDT
  • Recipients notified: Early May
  • Funds distributed: Early June

Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible to apply for summer 2021 funding?

In alignment with Oberlin’s three-term academic calendar, funding priority will be provided to students in the following order:

  1. Graduating seniors
  2. F1 visa holders who were enrolled in fall/spring terms
  3. Juniors who were enrolled in fall/spring terms and received previous appeal approval from the Registrar’s Office
  4. Sophomores who were enrolled in fall/spring terms and received previous appeal approval from the Registrar’s Office
  5. First-Year students who were enrolled in fall/spring term
Can F-1 visa students apply for summer funding?

F-1 visa students are eligible for all funds. Read the information for F-1 visa students on the International Student Resource Center website for information about CPT.

Can I apply for funding if I’m not a high-need student?

Financial need is one of the factors considered for funding. All students who meet the other eligibility criteria are encouraged to apply and use the Statement of Financial Need on the budget to express their financial circumstances for the summer. The Career Development Center will consult the Office of Financial Aid for each student’s level of need, which will be confidentially assessed and shared with the selection committees. The MLK Fund is only available for students who qualify for a Pell grant and international students with comparable levels of need.

Also, read the eligibility criteria listed for each fund in the Fund Descriptions section.

I am taking a leave of absence during Summer 2021. Am I eligible for funding?

A student who is on a leave of absence is not eligible for funding. Please review the General Policies on Leaves of Absence for more information.

What are Oberlin's safety guidelines and expectations?

Oberlin College prioritizes and highly encourages students to secure and perform internships that students can complete entirely from their place of residence. If you choose to pursue an in-person summer internship, it must adhere to all federal; state; and local laws, health guidance, rules, regulations, orders, ordinances, and legally binding decrees (“applicable laws”). Oberlin College does not place an expectation or condition on any internship that any students disregard any applicable laws or any students place themselves in harm’s way.

What types of career-related summer experiences are allowable for funding?

Funding through the Career Development Center is available for unpaid or low-paid, off-campus, full-time experiences sponsored by an established nonprofit organization, for-profit employer or government agency. The Career Development Center will consider funding students who receive a stipend from their host organization or financial assistance from another source. (Please contact internships@oberlin.edu with questions about stipends and summer funding.)

MLK Fund recipients may receive pay from the sponsoring organization.

Career-related summer experiences allowable for funding include:

  • Internships (must be full-time for at least 8 weeks or 320 hours)
  • Pre-professional experiences including off-campus research and performance (must be substantial in intensity, although the length may vary)

Students applying for funding to participate in a tuition or fee-based program (i.e. festival, theater program, language study, volunteer abroad, writing institute, etc. must have a clearly defined experiential component with at least 200 hours spent on activities that classify as an internship.

What types of summer experiences are NOT allowable for funding?
  • Research with faculty or work with offices/departments on Oberlin’s campus.
  • Tuition or fee-based program (i.e. festival, theater program, language study, volunteer abroad, writing institute, etc.) that does not include an experiential component with at least 200 hours spent on activities that classify as an internship.
  • Independent projects.
  • Students who have a summer internship (or other experience) that is funded by the Career Communities program are not eligible to apply for summer funding for that same summer. 
Can I receive funding for remote experiences?

Oberlin College prioritizes and highly encourages students to secure and perform internships that students can complete entirely from their place of residence. While we are able to provide funding for in-person or remote experiences this summer, funding for remote internships will be reduced to take into account fewer associated expenses.

I applied for the summer experience but haven't been accepted yet. Can I apply for funding?

Students are encouraged to secure their summer experience by the application deadline. Students can apply for funding if they have applied to a summer experience and are awaiting a response from the organization.

Can I select which fund(s) I want the selection committee to consider when they review my application?

Rather than selecting particular funds, students will answer a series of screening questions that will help staff determine which fund(s) are the best fit for their particular summer experience.

What should I do if I've applied to multiple organizations?

We realize that a number of organizations may provide a student with the career-related experience they want for the summer, but it is best to focus on one organization in the application. Applications will be judged on the student's ability to convey a clear understanding of the host organization, the quality of the experience, and how the experience relates to their post-graduate plans.

Who should I talk to if I have questions about the application?

Specific questions about summer funding can be sent to internships@oberlin.edu.

What should I include in my budget?

Funding can only be applied to travel, transportation, housing, food, and utility expenses related to the experience. Please use the sample budget as a guide. Students applying for funding to participate in a tuition- or fee-based program must provide a list with each expense covered by the program’s fee or tuition in their budget.  This often requires the student to contact an employee of the program directly, since these cost breakdowns are often not posted on program websites.  Since Oberlin has a policy of not paying tuition to other institutions, it is important to know how much of the tuition/fee is used for housing, food, transportation, and other allowable expenses.  Failure to provide the required cost breakdown may result in not receiving funding.

Will the Career Development Center consider late applications?

The Career Development Center will not consider late applications. Students must complete the online application by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, April 23, 2021. The required documents include responses to essay questions, a resume and a budget. 

If I submit my application early, will I have a better chance of receiving funding?

The selection committees will not review applications until after the deadline on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 5 p.m. Please take the time you need to complete your application thoughtfully and thoroughly, keeping in mind that we will not accept partially completed applications or those submitted after the deadline.

What should I do if I need help with my application?

Zoom appointments are available for help completing your summer funding application. Request an appointment through Handshake (Applying for a Job/Internship > Summer Funding). Appointments will fill up as we approach the application deadline, and must be scheduled at least two days ahead of time. Please don't wait until the last minute!

Can I apply for funding if the summer experience is paid or I will receive a stipend?

Students may be eligible for funding if they receive a stipend from the host organization or financial assistance from another source. These requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis; please contact internships@oberlin.edu with questions.

MLK Fund recipients may receive pay from the host organization. We define low-paid summer experiences as payment comparable to the national minimum wage or less.

I have already applied to an organization and they want me to decide on their offer before the funding application deadline. What should I do?

The selection committees will not review applications before the deadline. We recommend that you inform the organization about your financial situation and that you’ve applied for funding through the Career Development Center. 

What happens after I apply?

The committee will review funding applications after the deadline on Friday, April 23, 2021 and will make their selections and notify recipients by early May. All students who apply will receive an email about their application status by early May.

How are students selected for funding?

Students are selected for funding based on the eligibility criteria listed for each fund and the student's ability to convey a clear message on their application. The Career Development Center will make the final determination of funding amounts based on the following criteria: 1) financial need of the student; 2) medium of the internship (in-person or remote); 3) the location of the internship; 4) duration of the internship; 5) projected costs associated with the experience; 6) stipend provided by the employer (if applicable).

When will I find out if I am selected and what will I need to do to receive my award?

Students will be notified of their application status by early May. All award recipients must attend a mandatory meeting to discuss the requirements for funding. In addition, written confirmation from the organization that the student has been accepted for the experience is required before the student receives their award.