Student Experiential Learning Fund


Nichols College launched SELF (Student Experiential Learning Fund) in the Summer of 2021 to help subsidize expenses related to external internships. The fund is made possible through the generosity of several donors to ensure that cost is not an obstacle to students pursuing important experiential learning opportunities that support career exploration. SELF is designed to support students pursuing experiential learning and career building experiences through internship participation and to help offset potential financial hardships associated with unpaid or underpaid opportunities.

The application process is competitive; the funding committee looks at all submitted materials and considers financial need when awarding funds. Students do not have to qualify for financial aid to apply or receive funding from SELF. Our goal is to provide funding for as many students as possible.

All current undergraduate students are eligible, regardless of financial aid status. Students who have graduated are not eligible for funding. Funds are not guaranteed; students must apply; application submissions must be complete to be reviewed by the funding committee. The process and due dates are outlined below.

Expenses covered by SELF: Transportation to and from internship site (mileage, train/bus fair, flights), housing, rental, and living expenses if the student must relocate to participate in the internship opportunity.

Expenses not covered by SELF: Credit hours, attire, groceries, supplies, test prep courses, vehicle purchase or maintenance, insurance, internships that charge for participation, personal travel, and entertainment. SELF is not intended to provide an income and cannot be used to replace wages.

Submitting an application does not guarantee funding.

If you have any questions, please reach out to

To donate to the SELF fund, click HERE. Select the “Other” category and specify SELF as your gift designation. Our students appreciate your support!

Next SELF Deadline: December 1, 2023

For an internship to be eligible for a SELF Award, it must abide by the Fair Labor Standards Act. It is the applicant’s responsibility to confirm that their internship meets the legal criteria.

Internships should be relevant to students’ educational goals and career interests; students should be able to explain the educational benefits that will be gained from participating in the internship.

Funding is available for external academic or experiential internships. Internships affiliated with Nichols College are not eligible. Internships must be on site or a hybrid of in person and remote work. Virtual only internships are not eligible for SELF.

The internship should allow students to:

  • Engage in work related to possible career interests
  • Create substantial learning opportunities to connect class work to the real-world experience
  • Advance in the direction of a possible career or future education
  • Confirm or adjust career plans

Internship opportunities not eligible for funding include:

  • Internships hosted through Nichols College
  • Nichols College Research Associate Internships (RAI) or Teaching Associate Internships (TAI)
  • Pay-to-participate programs
  • Fully Virtual Internships
  • Independent or unsupervised experiences; a host organization is required
    • The host organization cannot be owned or managed by a member of the intern’s immediate family.

Any currently enrolled Nichols College undergraduate student who is eligible to work in the U.S. may apply for SELF. International students who are permanent residents or who have received OPT/CPT authorization may apply. For questions about OPT or CPT contact Kristen Malinowski-Paine.

Students who have graduated are not eligible to apply for funding from SELF.

  • Student must have secured an internship before applying for funding
  • Students must be registered at Nichols College for the semester following the SELF experience
  • SELF applicants must be in good academic and community standing

Students are eligible to receive funding once per academic year. Students may only apply for SELF one time per experience. Students may apply for SELF for multiple experiences but are not guaranteed approval.

Allocations are made on an individual basis to help supplement unpaid or underpaid internships. Applying for SELF does not guarantee funding.

Maximum Award: Up to $2,000

Examples of under-paid internships include stipends or hourly wages that do not sufficiently cover cost-of-living expenses.

Students may apply for SELF after they have been offered and accepted an internship opportunity. Students may apply for SELF one time per experience, and may only receive one SELF award per academic year.

How do you apply to SELF?

Complete the following:

  • Fill out the application form HERE.
  • Answer all required questions on the application form
  • Upload the following materials to the application form:
    • Current resume
    • Official offer letter for your internship
    • Job description
    • Completed budget form found HERE | Example Budget Form 
  • Report your internship experience in Handshake as an Academic Internship – for Credit OR as an Experiential Internship – Not for Credit

SELF applications are accepted on a rolling basis and will remain open if funding is available. Retroactive funding will not be issued; students must apply prior to starting their experience.

The SELF committee will review applications in the second week of each month during the Academic year and twice during the summer months. Notifications will be made by email within two weeks of the funding meeting.

Application Deadlines:

Academic Year
September – April
Applications received by the 1st of the month will be reviewed in that month
Example: Applications received on or before September 1st will be reviewed in September.

Summer Months
Applications will be reviewed in May and July
May Review Deadline: May 15
July Review Deadline: July 1

Applications will not be reviewed if all materials are not submitted by the deadline. Please review the application checklist to ensure you have submitted all required materials.

Funding awards are based on the following criteria from the student’s application:

  • Learning benefits gained through the internship experience
  • Explanation on how the internship fits with the student’s learning goals
  • Demonstration of financial need and impact of the award
  • Resume

If you receive funding, you will be required to provide a thank you letter, photos of your experience and a written testimonial at the conclusion of your internship experience.

Once funds are awarded, all recipients will receive a SELF agreement which must be signed and returned prior to funds being distributed. Recipients are also required to have a short meeting with a SELF Administrator to go over next steps and expectations.

Funding will be withheld if an internship falls through. If the internship ends prematurely, funding will be prorated accordingly and may be required to be returned.

Students who receive funding are required to supply receipts and mileage forms for expenses.

Can I receive funding for past internships?

  • No, SELF is only for future experiences.

Can I apply for funding if I have already graduated?

  • No, you must be a current undergraduate student during the time of your experience to apply for funding.

Are international students eligible for funding?

  • Yes, but F-1 visa students must have OPT or CPT granted. Reach out to Kristen Malinowski-Paine with questions about OPT/CPT.

What experiences are not funded through SELF?

  • Entrepreneurial or personal projects
  • Academic Programs
  • Fee-based programs
  • On campus jobs
  • Internships hosted by Nichols College
  • Fully virtual internships

Is funding guaranteed?

  • No, funding is not guaranteed.

When will I hear about my funding request?

  • The SELF committee meets in the second week of each month during the Academic year and twice in the summer months. Notifications will occur by email within two weeks of the committee meetings

If Accepted, when will I receive the funds?

  • Funds will be received approximately two weeks after your meeting with a SELF Administrator when funding is granted.

What if I leave or fail my internship?

  • If the internship ends prematurely, funding will be prorated accordingly and may be required to be returned.
Apply for SELF