Support Account

**For students interested in participating in summer international service experiences, please see details here**


Fellows have access to up to $3500 to use toward a full-time (8+ weeks) summer, service trip or internship, or a pro-rated amount for winter or spring break or service trip.  The support account will cover reasonable housing, utilities, transportation, food/household, visa, immunizations, as well as provide limited support for miscellaneous expenses. Freshmen are not eligible for summer funding.

The Cornell Tradition makes these funds available to help offset costs of the following:

    Career and/or non-profit full time summer internships
    Service experiences
    Service project funding
    **See information regarding the International Service funding by Atlantic Philanthropies

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.

To help you with budget planning, keep in mind the following guidelines.

During the Academic Year

  1. A Service Trip
    1. These trips typically happen during February, Spring or Winter break.
    2. Access to funds is pro-rated based on the time the fellow is engaged in service (see breakdown below)
    3. 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.
    4. Please note, career-related experiences are only eligible for funding during the summer when they can be a minimum of 8 weeks.
  2. Conferences related to service
    1. Conference schedule must be provided prior to approval
  3. Service project funding
    1. Special project to begin a new service activity
    2. Project requires collaboration with a university - afilliated entity or community agency
  4. Funding MUST be approved PRIOR to the experience. Receipt of fudning will be given as a REIMBURSEMENT at the conclusion of the experience when all required post-experience materials have been completed.
  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.
    1. 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.

The director of the Cornell Tradition has final approval of all Support Account experiences.

Service experiences must involve the fellow either:

  1. Working side by side with community members or an organization to accomplish a task.
  2. Teaching community members a skill that they can continue to use after the fellow has left.

We encourage students to seek experiences that reflect the program’s core values of work and service. The goal of this program is to allow students the opportunity to gain valuable real-world experience without increasing their total indebtedness due to the insufficient or nonexistent earnings typically associated with these types of experiences.

Number of Weeks:

1: $1200
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.

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 Tradition 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.