FALL 2023 (INCLUDES WINTER BREAK EXPERIENCES)
- August 14 – Application Opens
- September 4 – Application Closes
- Week of September 11-18 – Award Decision Notifications
- January 12 – All experiences should be complete for this grant cycle
Personalize your learning journey – Apply for an upcoming grant.
SPRING 2024 (INCLUDES SPRING SEMESTER AND MAYMESTER EXPERIENCES)
- November 17 – Application Opens
- December 17 – Application Closes 5:00 pm EST
- Week of January 8 – Award Decision Notifications
- May 31 – All experiences should be complete for this grant cycle
SUMMER 2024 (INCLUDES MAYMESTER, SUMMER I AND SUMMER II EXPERIENCES)
- February 26 – Application Opens
- March 17 – Application Closes
- Week of April 1 – Award Decision Notifications
- August 15 – All experiences should be complete for this grant cycle
Did you know?
Grant recipients participate in “Student Engagement 101: Find Your Why,” a free, non-credit-bearing Canvas course which encourages students to reflect on their experience so they can maximize their learning and growth.
Participating in Alternative Spring Break allowed Ashley Jankowski (Penn State Behrend) to dedicate her spring break to service. She and 20 other students volunteered at organizations such as Ronald McDonald House, Special Reach, Headwater Sanctuary, San Antonio Food Bank, and Habitat for Humanity. Ashley’s engagement opportunity allowed her to immerse herself in a culturally diverse community and engage in direct service with individuals in need.
Elise Schaffer (Penn State Lehigh Valley) traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, to research public artwork in natural settings. The experience was rooted in understanding how people with disabilities could access the features of a destination before traveling there. Elise’s engagement experience culminated in a 360˚ virtual tour that outlines the accessibility challenges of the locations and makes recommendations for adaptations in each location.
What kinds of experiences could a grant cover? The opportunities are endless. A grant may be applied toward any of the following experience types (or others you might envision).
Penn State students have received more than $2.5 million in funding since the SEN Grant Program launched in 2017
A five-day medical clinic in a Guatemalan community made a lasting impact on Lyndsay Stakem (University Park). For her, it combined her love of helping people with her passion for health and medicine. Of particular importance was the opportunity for her and her team to educate children on the importance of dental and daily hygiene. She got to practice her Spanish and offer valuable care to individuals of very low socio-economic status.
Did you know?
If they wish, grant recipients can choose to give presentations about their experience at the Student Engagement EXPO, held at the University Park campus each fall, or the Undergraduate Exhibition, held in a hybrid format (at University Park and online) each spring.
Students have participated in more than 2,500 engagement experiences with the support of SEN Grants
Did you know?
Grant recipients participate in weekly small group meetings with an Engagement Coach, a faculty or staff member who helps students complete their experience, overcome roadblocks, and reflect on their learning.
SEN Grant Program FAQs
Will receiving a grant affect my financial aid package?
Although this is typically not the case, in certain cases receiving a grant could result in a hold being placed on your account. Please contact the Office of Student Aid for more information on how your account may be impacted. The SEN will also address this question in the mandatory information session for grant recipients.
What is expected of me if I receive a grant?
If chosen for an award, you will be expected to: 1) Attend a mandatory information session; 2) Complete a free, non-credit-bearing course through Canvas; 3) Meet each week with an assigned faculty or staff Engagement Coach; and 4) Complete an assessment at the end of your experience, write a reflection, and submit photos.
Are graduate students eligible for grants?
No, graduate students are not eligible.
What types of costs are not funded?
Funding cannot be used for tuition, student club or organization fees and dues (including Greek life), research that is not supervised by a Penn State faculty member, travel not affiliated with the University, personal bills or expenses, or miscellaneous costs that don't directly pertain to an engagement experience.
Can I use the grant to pay my tuition?
No, funding cannot be used to pay tuition.
Can a student club or organization seek funding for projects, events, or community-service?
No. Student clubs and organization leaders are encouraged to seek funding first through their campus allocations committee, academic department or college, and/or student government.
Can I apply for multiple grants in a funding cycle? Can I receive multiple grants throughout my Penn State career?
You may only apply for one grant per cycle. Students can apply as many times as they wish, but after they receive a grant, they are not eligible for additional funding.
Can I apply for a summer experience during the fall or spring cycles, or for a fall or spring experience during the summer?
No, your experience must take place within the same cycle you apply for funds.
Should I plan for my experience to be remote or in person?
You can plan for either, depending on your needs and goals. Experiences can be remote/virtual, in person, or they can include a combination of both elements. Students are strongly encouraged to follow COVID mitigation protocols during their experience.