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Student Application Guide for Experiential Learning Awards

Application Timeline

  • Spring application release date: January 26, 2024
  • January 26 - March 14: students should attend information sessions and/or schedule individual appointments with Experiential Learning staff to learn more about the application process.
  • Application submission deadline: March 15, 2024
  • Notification of award: April 30, 2024

Sign up for one of the following info sessions: 

  • February 2, 10 a.m.
  • February 20, 5:30 p.m.
  • March 8, 2:30 p.m.

General Information

Students may apply for any amount between $100 and $1,000 and may apply for up to $1,000 in a single application or submit multiple applications throughout their time as an undergraduate student for a total award amount of $1,000. 

What We're Looking For

This is a competitive award. In addition to verifying eligibility requirements listed below, applications will be reviewed and ranked on the following: 

  • Quality and completeness of the narrative, including articulation of the key elements of an experiential learning opportunity
  • Quality and completeness of the budget, including articulation of the impact that this funding will have on the student’s ability to participate in the opportunity

Things to know before you apply

To be eligible for this award, students must be (and maintain status as):  

  • Undergraduate student at Ohio University on the Athens or a regional campus (e-Campus students are not currently eligible for this award) 
  • Full-time or part-time student in a degree-seeking status  
  • Student in good academic standing
  • Student not in violation of a charge of the Ohio University Code of Conduct 
  • Student who has not previously received this award at the maximum amount of $1,000 

To be eligible for an award, opportunities must meet the following criteria:

Applicant must demonstrate that the opportunity meets Ohio University's definition of Experiential Learning: An approach to education that emphasizes engaged student learning through preflection, direct experience, and reflection to increase knowledge, develop skills, and elucidate values. Experiential learning activities are intentionally designed to develop students' knowledge, skills, and attitudes through experience related to a field. Experiential learning may occur in curricular and co-curricular settings. 

Eligible opportunities must fall into one or more of the following categories:

  • Community Engagement 
  • Internships 
  • Leadership 
  • Research 
  • Creative Activity 
  • Study Abroad/ Away

Eligible opportunities must include the following elements:  

  • Engagement: Student involvement in the activity is sustained and/or intensive. The experience requires a substantial investment of time and attention to foster deep learning.
  • Mentorship: Student receives regular, meaningful feedback about student work from activity director or supervisor. Feedback supports student reflection and integration of learning through the activity and goal-setting for future learning.
  • Challenge: Student engages in activity that pushes own boundaries beyond the familiar or explores unknown territory for the purpose of developing knowledge and skills.
  • Ownership: Student exercises independent judgment in defining and/or executing the activity. Student takes ownership of the process and outcomes.
  • Self or Social Awareness: Student reflects on the activity by articulating personal, civic/social, and/or academic learning. Student identifies and articulates knowledge, values, and attitudes developed through the activity.

Budget and Allowable Expenses 

The fall funding cycle will support experiential learning opportunities taking place between May 1, 2024 and May 1, 2025. 

  • If your opportunity has not yet been approved, you may still apply. 

  • Quality and completeness of the budget is one of the criteria for this award, therefore, it is important to be as specific as possible. Do research, estimate and provide the source for estimates when no exact budget information is available. This includes things like calculating personal vehicle reimbursement for a clinical or practicum placement site that is not yet know you will have to research potential placement locations and estimate the number of miles you will need to travel. 

Examples of Acceptable Expenses

Equipment and Material
  • As a public institution, any equipment or materials bought through this award are the property of Ohio University and must be returned to the university.
  • Whenever possible, students should borrow equipment or materials from departments/colleges. Many departments have lending programs for their students
Travel and Living Expenses
  • Airfare: students may use any airline website to estimate the cost of a flight. Students should cite the website and date the information was retrieved.
  • Foreign Travel/ Study Abroad: The purpose of this fund is to help with the out-of-pocket expenses associated with studying abroad. To prevent granting individual students duplicate funding, study abroad expenses billed to your Ohio University Student Account are discouraged. These are expenses listed in Section A of an OGO Student Budget Worksheet. Students should use the Student Budget Worksheet provided by the OGO office to determine out-of-pocket costs (not billed to student account) as accounted in table B.  
    • If OGO does not have a Student Budget Worksheet for your experience, use the federal guidance on per diem rates to determine permitted out-of-pocket costs for meals and incidentals.
    • Currency converter
  • Domestic Travel
    • Privately owned vehicle mileage reimbursement rates
    • To reserve vehicle rentals through Ohio University
    • For domestic travel that requires overnight accommodations, daily expenses may be estimated by using federally allowable rates for per diem. This is the maximum allowable expenses per day that can be allocated to you. You are still responsible for submitting evidence of spending that is within this estimated amount. Calculate daily meal expenses or permitable incidental charges for domestic travel using these per diem rates.

Funds may not be used for:

  • Graduate student activities
  • Tuition
  • Textbooks
  • Experiences that have already occurred
  • Wages for yourself or others  
  • Clothing (many campuses offer a professional Career Closet)
  • Rent and groceries for local opportunities that do not require overnight travel
  • Vacation/travel experiences with no academic element 
  • Disposable, single-use household items (ex: styrofoam cups, plastic cutlery - These items are not in line with Ohio University's values of sustainability.) 
  • Experiences with a political party, a candidate's campaign, or for a ballot measure
  • Experiences hosted by an immediate family member 

Other Considerations:

  • Applications for undergraduate research projects with human or animal subjects require IRB or IACUC approval. Award applications can be approved prior to receiving the appropriate ethics board approval. However, funding will be withheld until we receive verification of approval or exemption.
  • In order to prevent duplication of funding, students needing funds to disseminate research or creative activity including conferences, performances, and exhibits, must first seek funding from the Undergraduate Travel Fund.
  • If you receive funding from other sources, please ensure that there are no overlaps in funding sought from other sources and the Undergraduate Experiential Learning Award.n>

When completing the budget section of the application, applicants should take care to ask specifically for things that are directly related to the experiential learning opportunity. Students will be given space to explain budget requests, and this is a very important part of the application process. Applicants should use the space provided to help the committee to understand the impact that this funding will have on the ability to participate.

Narrative Description of Project 

Students will be asked to address a series of prompts. For each response, students may respond in writing or in a video format, whichever the student believes can be done with higher quality. Videos should be approximately two minutes each and must be shared via a link (not uploaded as a file). Students are strongly encouraged to test the links for videos before submission. Written answers should be approximately 150 words per question. These awards are competitive and will be evaluated on the quality and completeness of the narratives in addition to the quality and completeness of the budget.

  1. Brief description of your experiential learning opportunity, including:
    • Location of your experience
    • Dates of your experience
    • Basic description of your experiential learning opportunity 
    • Faculty/staff at OHIO who can verify your participation 
    1. In what ways does this opportunity require deep engagement? 
  2. In what ways will you actively engage with mentor?
  3. In what ways will this experience push you beyond familiar territory into the unknown?
  4. Explain what opportunities you will have for independent judgement and what ownership you will take of the process and the outcomes. 
  5. How is this experience important to your undergraduate experience and your future goals? What are your expected learning outcomes?

Reflection Plan 

Students have many experiences, but preflection (preparing and predicting) and reflection are what turn an experience into a learning opportunity.  This application will ask you to preflect on your experience.  Additionally, if you receive this award, you will be expected to engage in reflective activities during and after your experience.

In the narrative section students will be asked, "In what ways will you actively engage with a mentor? Be prepared to explain how often and in what capacity you intend to meet or communicate with the supervisor/director to obtain feedback and evaluate progress toward intended outcomes?" This is part of the reflection process. Students will also be required to formally reflect on this experience upon completion. The application asks that students consider the method they plan to use for the final reflection.

Submit an Application