FAQs & Tips

Wesleyan Summer Grants are funding resources awarded through the Gordon Career Center which allow students to pursue no- or low-pay career-related summer experiences. These resources include Wesleyan Summer Experience Grants, Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship Grants, named grants, etc. Funding can be awarded up to $5,000.

Summer experiences can take place in the U.S. and abroad and can include career-related opportunities in the following areas:

  • Internships
  • Faculty-Mentored Research
  • Language Study
  • Volunteer Work
  • Field Study
  • Academic Program

To be considered for funding, the opportunity must be:

  • Full-time, at least 8 weeks with a minimum of 240 total hours. This can include travel to and from your experience.
  • Take place during Summer 2020 (May - August). Opportunities that do not take place during this time will not be considered for funding.

Receiving Your Grant
If your proposal is selected to receive funding, you will be notified in early April of your funding amount and the necessary steps to receive your funding. At this time, you will have the ability to submit a revision if your plans have changed. In mid-May, after completing the necessary steps to confirm your funding, ffunds are transferred via direct deposit, which must be set up with Wesleyan in advance. Students who have not yet set up direct deposit may do so by completing the Authorization Agreement for Payroll Direct Deposit Form and returning it to the Payroll Office. As these funds could be 1099 reportable, we recommend that students consult with a tax advisor on how to treat and report this grant for tax purposes. Over the summer you will be required to complete a questionnaire about your experience and write a thank you to your donor(s).

For more information on how to develop your proposal and complete your application, please read our guide on How to Develop a Great Application.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How many students receive the grant each year?
    The numbers of grant recipients vary depending on the funds available that year. In previous years approximately 50-70% of the total applicants received funding to participate in an experience. 
  • What if I haven't secured a summer opportunity by the grant application deadline?
    It is common for students to apply for a grant without securing their summer opportunity. You can still apply if you have not secured your summer experience. Your application will reflect the opportunity you are currently pursuing. If chosen for funding, you will have the ability to submit a revised application if your plans have changed and you have a different summer opportunity. All revisions will be reviewed before funding is determined. 
  • What is the Student Contribution section on the budget form?

    Wesleyan's Financial Aid Office will determine the student contribution for those students who are receiving need-based financial aid. Please review your financial aid package by logging in to SIMON via WesPortal. Select the current award year and choose awards. This will show your student contribution for 2019-2020. Please list this number in the total dollar amount on your budget form and on your application. 

    The Committee would like this included in the budget to ease any financial requirements you may have over the summer. Questions about your student contribution can be directed to the Financial Aid Office.

  • How does the grant affect my taxes?
    Wesleyan University does not make any determination on the taxability of these awards.  Please consult your tax advisor to determine your tax status and liability.
  • What is a supervisor?
    The person whom you will be reporting to over the summer will be your supervisor. The application process requires you have a conversation with your potential supervisor in order to discuss duties and responsibilities of your potential role. If you are opting for an independent project or an academic experience with no specified supervisor, you need to find a faculty sponsor with whom to review your experience and discuss a timeline for work. If you are enrolling in an educational program, the associated contact with that program will be listed. If awarded, your supervisor will be required to complete and submit a form confirming your summer experience as well as a form confirming the completion of your summer experience. These are both a requirement for funding.

How to Develop a Great Application

Your resume must be approved on Handshake by the Gordon Career Center before you can apply for a summer grant. Please note that once you upload your resume to Handshake it will be reviewed, not necessarily approved, within 48 hours or 2 business days. Please plan accordingly and expect that your resume may not be approved the first time you upload it. It is strongly encouraged that you schedule a resume review appointment with a peer career advisor before you upload it to Handshake for the first time. You will need to submit your approved resume with your application.

All applicants are required to submit a budget sheet, detailing the funding request for your summer experience. As an applicant, it is your responsibility to research costs to help you estimate your budget lines and make sure your numbers add up to the correct totals. What do you anticipate needing funding for? Fill out the budget based on your summer experience. Remember, no two budgets will look the same. Click here to view the budget packet which includes information on how to fill out your form and view sample budgets.

This part of the application process is not an academic statement. Your essays must be compelling; you need to persuade the Committee to fund your experience. They need to understand why this experience is important to you as an individual and how it relates to your career goals. Be thoughtful and detailed in your responses.

2020 Essays:

  1. Tell us about yourself and your goals for the future. (500 words maximum)
  2. Tell us about your summer plans. What opportunity are you pursuing, and what will your role and responsibilities be? How did you find or design this opportunity? Why do you want to pursue this particular summer experience, and how will it enhance your Wesleyan education? What will you gain from this experience, and how will it impact your career goals? (750 words maximum)

Quick Tips:
1. Plan ahead! The application requires that you do research on your opportunity in order to create a well written, convincing application. This is not something that can be put together the day before. 
2. The grant is to be used for career-related opportunities taking place in the summer only. 
3. Please describe only one opportunity in your application. If awarded and your plans change, you can submit a revision for review.
4. Make sure your essays convey your story and give the committee a good understanding of what you will be doing this summer and how it relates to your career goals.

If you are funded, you are expected to participate in the opportunity you described in your application. If - and only if -the offer for that internship opportunity falls through, you must use the Application Revision to request that the Committee fund a new internship. Only after the Committee has received and approved the new request and you and your sponsor have completed the Confirmation Forms, will you receive your funds. 

Need Help?

If you need help getting your resume approved, finding summer opportunities, or would like to review your application materials, please schedule a career advising or resume review/quick questions appointment with a staff member from the Gordon Career Center. Appointments can be scheduled online on Handshake, via phone 860-685-2180, or in-person during business hours. 

If you have any questions about your eligibility, requirements of a particular grant, or the application process, please contact Sarah McNamara, Associate Director of Internships and Campus Recruiting via email wseg@wesleyan.edu.