Liberal Arts Enrichment Funds Application Process
An important goal of the College of the Liberal Arts is to involve undergraduates in appropriate enrichment activities. Accordingly, the College, as well as a variety of Academic Departments, has modest funds available to assist students participating in activities such as internships, education abroad, or undergraduate research. Liberal Arts majors seeking financial support for such enrichment activities are encouraged to apply to the Liberal Arts Enrichment Funds Application System.
Priority application deadlines are
- Fall: September 1
- Spring: December 1
- Summer: May 1
Applications will be considered after these deadlines on a funds-available basis, so it is to your advantage to submit your application before the priority deadlines.
Before applying for funds, please make sure you are familiar with the eligibility and application requirements below.
- Students must be registered as full-time undergraduates in the College of the Liberal Arts (i.e., at least 12 credits per semester). Note: Full-time registration status may not apply to the summer semester.
- Students must have at least one declared major in the College of the Liberal Arts.
- Students with demonstrated financial need are given preference for most funding (although students who do not have demonstrated need are still welcome to apply). Demonstrated need means that according to federal guidelines, students are eligible to receive financial aid. This is determined by completing and submitting a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal and Student Aid) form by the appropriate deadline with the FAFSA office. There is no need to submit a copy of your FAFSA application with your enrichment application.
- Students earning academic credit for their experience are given first preference.
- Strongest consideration will be given to applications received before the start date of the enrichment experience.
- For education abroad, students must be participating in a Penn State sponsored program.
- A faculty member’s endorsement is only necessary for students requesting research funds. Requests must be accompanied by a brief description submitted by the appropriate faculty member describing the importance of the project to the student’s education.
- Review the correctness and completeness of the information the system retrieves about you from Penn State databases.
- Complete the online form which will ask you to fill out some basic information about you and your enrichment experience.
- Upload the following documentation:
- Statement: Describe in 300 to 500 words how the enrichment activity will support your academic or career goals and any financial circumstances of which we should be made aware.
- List of Expenses: Provide an itemized list of expenses, being as specific as possible (airfare, room and board, transportation expenses, etc.). Be sure to include the total amount you are requesting in this document. Please also indicate here if you have applied for or received any other funding to support your enrichment experience (include the source and amount if known).
- Acceptance Letter: Provide a copy of your acceptance letter into the program if you are participating in an internship or study abroad program, or a faculty letter of endorsement if you are undertaking a research project.
Incomplete applications and those without the statement, list of expenses, and acceptance letter will not be considered. If any of this information is missing, you can return to this system as many times as you need to complete it. Any information which is not editable by you in this system must be updated in eLion. Any information which is editable by you only updates in this application system, not in other PSU databases. Please also note that your session will time out after 60 minutes, so you need to save your work before then or you will need to re-enter it.
Your application will be reviewed as soon as possible after the semester priority deadline. In most cases, you should hear from us within two to three weeks by email at your Penn State address with a decision regarding your application. Your academic major department will also be given access to your enrichment application for review. If your department is able to make an additional contribution, you will hear from them separately. Note: The Political Science Department currently has its own departmental application process. INTPL and PL SC majors should apply for funding from their department separately by visiting the Political Science Department website.
When will my enrichment award be disbursed?
Your enrichment award will be deposited into your student bursar’s account the semester during which you participate in the experiential learning experience. If you have holds on your account or any outstanding registration issues, or if your bill has not been paid, this will prevent your award from disbursing. Contact the Office of Student Aid to check on any registration issues you may have.
How will I receive my enrichment award?
Your enrichment award will be disbursed according to your Bursar Account settings, so make sure your account is set up properly in advance. When you log in to eLion, click on “Refund Information” on the left hand column. There you will be able to choose whether you would like to enroll in “Rapid Refund” or if you would prefer to have your refund mailed to your permanent residence address. Most students choose to enroll in Penn State’s Rapid Refund Program so that the funds are directly deposited into their bank accounts. Any questions you have about your Bursar Account or the disbursement of your award should be directed to the Penn State’s Office of the Bursar. Please also note that if you owe money to the University at the time your award is made, the funds will be applied first to any outstanding balance you owe to the University.
What information should I include in my thank you letter?
Most College of the Liberal Arts enrichment awards are made possible by generous donations from liberal arts alumni and friends. Undergraduate recipients of these enrichment awards will be asked to write a thank you letter to the donor(s) responsible for their award. Donors enjoy hearing about your career plans and extra-curricular activities, as well as about how the award will help you participate in your enrichment experience (i.e. internship, study abroad, or research program). Please make sure to read your award notification email from the College carefully so that you include the appropriate information and salutation. Liberal Arts majors can also refer to the Thank You Letter Guidelines for suggestions about what to include in your thank you letter and how to format it.
What are my enrichment assignment options?
We ask that all Liberal Arts majors who have received enrichment funding from the College choose to complete at least one of the following enrichment assignments:
*Submit a blog post discussing your enrichment experience. The blog post can be completed during or after your enrichment experience;
*Send us a few photos from your enrichment experience;
*Fill out the Career Enrichment Network student profile questionnaire.
Directions regarding your enrichment assignment should be found in the notification you receive from the Liberal Arts Career Enrichment Network. Please contact our office if you have any questions.