Cornell University

Overview for Employers

Do you have a full-time summer position available for a Cornell undergraduate student? Are you a non-profit or small for-profit employer? If you said yes to both of these, the DYO Program at Cornell may be able to significantly reimburse you for your student intern's summer wages!

We recommend that you post the internship early, as Cornell students are motivated to settle their summer plans well before leaving campus in May. Many students participate in internship interviews by phone, or in-person during Winter break in January or Spring break in March.

COVID-19 UPDATE 3/27/20
We are continuing to support students and employers in creating customized internships through the DYO Program. However, given the frequently changing government regulations, we CAN NOT guarantee that funds will still be available this year.

At this time, we plan to move forward as normal until summer guidance becomes more clear. The Summer 2020 Application is now open. Please continue to check back at this page for updates.

Position Requirements 

  • Internship/job must be career-related or academically relevant.
  • Internship must be with a non-profit outside of Tompkins County OR a small for-profit employer
    • Note: Weill Cornell is permitted to be a DYO employer
    • If you are a non-profit organization within Tompkins County, please refer to the Community Work Study Program to arrange funding for a Cornell intern.
  • The job must be located in the United States.
  • Employment must be for at least 35 hours per week.
  • Position must last 8—10 weeks.
  • If your internship is "virtual," you must have regular supervision via phone, Skype, or in-person meetings.
  • Employer must pay an hourly wage equal to or greater than local, state, or federal minimum wage (whichever is higher).
    • Stipends or commission-based salaries will not be reimbursed.
    • There is also no reimbursement for lunchtime, holidays, sick days, transportation, or other compensation.

Identify a Student

Many students seek an employer of their choice for the DYO program, or they meet through networking and agree to something informally. However, you can also proactively seek a student if you would like to hire a intern from Cornell. You can create an internship posting in our Cornell Handshake system. If you can only hire a student who qualifies for the DYO reimbursement, include a statement in the internship description that Federal Work-Study eligibility is required.

Employer/Organization Type Limitations

Due to Federal and/or Cornell regulations, jobs/employers with the following characteristics are NOT permitted:

  • medium - large sized for-profit company with multiple worksites
  • organizations with direct religious or partisan political affiliation
  • lobbying organization (or lobbying function within an organization)
  • employing organization that restricts its membership
  • U.S. Department of Education or U.S. Department of Justice
  • employing organization that is student-led or run by a student or recent graduate (supervisor must be a seasoned professional)
  • Note: DYO also does not fund students working for their own family-owned business

Reimbursement Requirements

As a participant of the Cornell DYO program, an employer should understand the following important requirements. Failure to comply with the following could jeopardize your reimbursement.

  • Employer must pay the student's hourly wages up front through their payroll system. Cornell will provide reimbursement for the approved percentage in the fall.
  • Stipend, commission, lump sum or personal check payments are NOT reimbursable. State, Federal, and FICA withholding are expected.
  • Funding is approved for the specific student, and may not be transferred to a different individual.
  • A separate application is required for each student annually, regardless of previous participation. This requirement also applies to Boyce Thompson and Weill Cornell.
  • Hours worked prior to notification of funding approval are not eligible for reimbursement.

Reimbursement Percentages

Cornell University will be carefully reviewing all applications and internship descriptions to determine reimbursement eligibility percentage.

  • For-profits receive 50%
  • Non-profits receive at least 50%
    • Non-profits whose internship is considered a community service opportunity (based on the definition below) receive 75%
Community Service

Community services are defined as those services that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs. Cornell may use formal or informal consultation with local nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations to help determine what services fall into this category.

These services include:

  • Fields such as health care, child care, literacy training, education (including tutorial services), welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, crime prevention and control, recreation, rural  development, and community improvement.
  • Work in youth corps service opportunities or as defined in Section 101 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990, and service in the agencies, institutions, and activities designated in Section 124(a) of that act.
  • Support services for people with disabilities (including students with disabilities who are enrolled at the university).
  • Mentorship roles, including: tutoring, supporting educational and recreational activities, and counseling, including career counseling.

Both employers and students must submit the required forms and materials to be considered for the program.  To apply, click on "Forms" in the navigation pane to the right.

Questions? Email