Presidential Scholars are eligible to apply for Enrichment Award funds of up to $2,500. You must apply at least three to four weeks prior to beginning your enrichment activity; retroactive reimbursement is not allowed.

Enrichment activities demand sustained engagement with a topic or interest beyond what is required for any course or degree program.  In other words, activities that are required for one’s degree program (e.g., senior design projects in the School of Engineering; senior projects in the School of Fine Arts; group projects in School of Business courses; etc.) do not meet the definition of “enrichment activities” and are thus not eligible for these funds.

Eligible Activities

The following activities are eligible to be funded through the Presidential Scholars Enrichment Program:

  • Study Abroad You may use the Enrichment Award funds for travel and room and board, but not for tuition or program fees. Experiential Global Learning (EGL) provides estimates that break down the costs of travel, room, and board, which you can use when creating your budget.
  • Unpaid Internship You may use award funds to cover room and board (away from home or school) and other expenses (travel to and from your work location, for example) incurred during the internship. You may also use the enrichment award for room and board for a low paying internship, but only if the expenses exceed the total amount of the salary.
  • Research You may use award funds to cover costs associated with an independent research project (e.g. supplies and/or consumables in the laboratory, printing and copying, etc.) and other expenses (travel, for example) incurred during the research experience. If the research will take place over the summer and you will be living away from home, then you may also include room and board expenses. The expenses must be specific to your project and must be consumed during your research. Requests for funds for laptops, processors, lab equipment, etc., will not be approved. You may not use enrichment funds for a course that is required by your major (e.g., senior project for BFA students, design lab for engineering students), but you may use them for an Honors thesis, independent study, or other undergraduate research project.  Nor may you use funds to pay tuition and fees for independent studies during the summer. You may not use Presidential funds for a project that is being funded by any other source, such as SURF, Beckman Scholars, Holster, BOLD, Health Research Program, IBACS, MARC, McNair, or IDEA Grant. However, requests to use Presidential EA funds to cover eligible, project-related expenses that exceed the budgets of programs such as the ones listed above will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Professional Development You may use award funds to conduct fieldwork, travel for research purposes, or to attend pre-professional or academic conferences.  Pre-professional, professional, and academic conferences are the most common professional development activities supported by these funds.
  • Community Service You may use the award to cover costs associated with approved volunteer or UConn-sponsored service activities. These activities are usually immersive in nature, which includes most service-orientated alternative spring break programs but does not generally cover volunteer work associated with local after school programs (unless those activities are directly related to your degree program or professional aspirations).

Ineligible Costs

The following costs are not eligible to be funded through the Presidential Scholars Enrichment Program:

  • UConn fee bill balances, including tuition, fees, parking tickets, pharmacy charges, etc., or other items such as course textbooks, computers/tablets, lab fees, program costs and course materials.
  • Activities that start after you have graduated, even if you incur expenses related to this activity before your degree is conferred.
  • Activities associated with classes for which you are receiving academic credit and which are requirements for your degree (e.g., costs associated with senior design projects in the School of Engineering).
  • Test Fees Costs associated with preparation for tests are not allowed if the exams are required for graduate or professional school admission or professional licensure (e.g., MCAT, LSAT, GRE, and actuarial exams).
  • Tuition or other program fees that approximate tuition at other educational institutions or agencies. Exceptions: In 2020, to account for the dramatic contraction of professional development opportunities available to students due to Covid, UConn temporarily allowed students on pre-health professions tracks to request funding to offset costs of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) certification programs as long as the programs in which students enrolled did not carry academic credit (from UConn or another institution). At this time, these remain the only exceptions to this policy. We will continue to update this website as the status of these “Covid exceptions,” which are set to expire in July 2024, evolves.
  • Compensation, in the form of salary, wages, or stipends.