Support Account

The Meinig Scholars program makes funds available to help offset costs associated with participating in opportunities related to the program ideals of leadership.

Note that the Meinig definition of leadership is "actively engaged in an organization/community; making a difference".  Specific guidelines related to when you use your funding are as follows:

During the Academic Year

1. An experience related to leadership where students “actively engage in an organization or community and are making a measurable difference.”

  • These experiences typically happen over February, Spring, or Winter Break.
  • Access to funds is prorated (see below), based on time actually engaged in your experience.
  • In order for a trip to qualify for funding, volunteer service hours should be at least 6 hours per day or 30 hours in a week.
  • Please note, this DOES NOT include leadership in your career. We do not fund jobs, professional/graduate school interviews, externships, etc.

2. Leadership Conferences.

  • Must include specific topics related to leadership. Conference schedule with descriptions is required.
  • Please note, this DOES NOT include leadership in your career.

3. Leadership Project Funding Form

  • Special project to initiate new activity related to leadership. Not simply supplemental funds to offset expenses for another organization/established program.
  • Can access up to $500/semester

4. Funding must be approved PRIOR to your participation. However receipt of funding will be given as a REIMBURSEMENT at the conclusion of your experience, after proper post-experience materials, including receipts, have been submitted.

5. Early reimbursement for some costs MAY be arranged due to financial hardship.

During the Summer

  1. Any experience (as above) and career and/or non-profit summer internships.
    • Experiences must be at least 8 weeks/35-40 hours per week (totalling approximately 280 hours) in order to be considered full-time and therefore qualify for access to the full $3500 support account. Anything less than full time receives prorated funding (see below).
  2. Funding must be approved PRIOR to your participation and monies will be provided up front, via your Bursar account. Be sure to arrange for direct deposit.
  3. You must verify proper expenditure of these funds POST-experience, submitting proper receipts along with other materials, within two weeks of the completion of your experience. Failure to do so may result in our charging your Bursar account for funds not accounted for.
  4. Freshmen are not eligible for summer funding.

We encourage students to seek experiences that reflect the program’s core values of leadership and achievement. The goal of this program is to allow students the opportunity to gain valuable real-world experience without increasing their total indebtedness due to insufficient or nonexistent earnings typically associated with these types of experiences. Our main objective is to provide experiences outside of the academic realm and typically do not fund academic experiences such as Cornell in Washington, Study Abroad, etc. Some credit bearing service learning experiences MAY qualify but must be vetted by the director.

The Director of the Meinig Scholars has final approval of all Support Account experiences.

Visit our Commitment Internships Program database for a list of internship volunteer opportunities.
**This list is not comprehensive and students should use a variety of means to find opportunities.


Scholars have access to up to $3,500 (depending on the length of the experience; see budgeting schedule below)  The support account will cover reasonable costs associated with housing, utilities, transportation, food/household, visa, immunizations, as well as provide limited support for miscellaneous expenses.


To help with budget planning, keep in mind the following targeted amounts typically approved, based on length of experience:

Number of Weeks

1: $1000
2: $1500
3: $1750
4: $2000
5: $2250
6: $2500
7: $2750
8+: $3500


Applications are due by the following dates or AT LEAST 4 WEEKS BEFORE the start of your experience, whichever comes sooner.

Winter Break: November 1
Spring Break: March 1
Summer Break: May 1

Before starting the application process, you:

  • Must attend a support account information session.
  • Should consider speaking with your program director about the experience and whether it falls within the program guidelines.
  • Must secure a position (do not apply based on a potential position).
  • Must have details about your experience including:
    • Location (travel to a location on this Travel Warning list will require extra review)
    • Dates of Experience
    • Direct Supervisor contact information
    • All Budget costs (Housing, Transportation, Food, etc.)
    • If any visas or immunizations are necessary, etc.
  • Should verify that your health insurance will provide coverage, especially if at a non-US location.

All information is provided via the on-line application through Study Abroad.

After completing the application

  • Once all relevant sections are completed, the application system will notify your program direction of your application.
  • You can check your application status.  Applications will not be reviewed until all components have been completed.
  • It is your responsibility to follow-up on endorsements or recommendations.
  • Your program director will inform you if your application has been accepted.  (For any travel to a travel warning country, approval is contingent upon ITART approval.)
  • Approval is at program director’s discretion. 

View the Application Tutorial.

Start your Meinig Support Account Funding Application.

See how other Commitment students have used their funding!


The Menschel Cornell Commitment Public Service Internship program is designed to encourage students to work in a non-profit organization, offering their skills to help the organization, while broadening their own career horizons.  Interns can work in a multitude of positions in a vast array of domestic, non-profit and public service organizations.