Cornell University

Develop Your Own Internship FAQ

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How much money will I make?

The typical student earns between $3,000-$4,000, depending on hourly wage, the number of hours worked per week, and the number of weeks worked. For example, if you're paid $11.10/hour and work 9 weeks for 35 hours/week you'll earn $3,496.50 before taxes. (Your employer must withhold all appropriate State, Federal, and FICA taxes.) Keep in mind that all financial aid students have a Student Contribution from Summer Earnings amount as part of their academic-year aid package. 

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Can I take summer classes and still participate in the DYO program?

Yes, but you must be taking fewer than 6 credit hours if working full-time. If you are planning to take 6 or more credit hours, you must complete a Summer Financial Aid Application (in 203 Day Hall), and you would not be eligible for funding for full-time work. If you are unsure about the number of credit hours you will be taking during the summer, complete both applications and adjustments will be made at the time your summer status is finalized. It is your responsibility to keep us and your employer informed of your plans and intentions. You will not be approved for both Summer Financial Aid and DYO funding; you will need to notify us which you plan to accept before approval is final.

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Do I complete a DYO funding application for all summer work-study opportunities?

No. The DYO form is not used if:

  1. You apply for a job through the New York City Public Service Corps,
  2. You will be working on Cornell's campus, or for a non-profit agency in the Ithaca/Tompkins County with the Community Work-Study Program, or
  3. You will take 6 or more credit hours at Cornell during the summer.

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Does this program place me into a job?

No, the program does not guarantee you a position. What the DYO program does is help make you more attractive to a potential employer in a competitive job market by offering the possibility of a partial reimbursement to the employer for a significant portion of your gross earnings. It's up to you to conduct an effective job search and to identify potential opportunities. 

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May I submit more than one DYO Funding Request Application?

Yes, but funding will be approved for only one employer. If you submit more than one DYO we will ask you to choose which employer is more important to you. Therefore, only submit DYO applications for employers with whom you have a realistic potential for being hired.

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Is there an application deadline?

We award funding on a rolling basis, beginning in March. It is strongly encouraged you submit a completed application (both employer and student sections) by mid May. No applications are accepted after June 16.

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Do you take a waitlist for late applications?

A waitlist is used only if funding gets low, which rarely happens. We cannot accept applications after June 16, so late applications are not reviewed.

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When do I know if my DYO has been approved?

Starting in March we send approvals and denials to students by e-mail. Generally you will receive an answer 1-2 weeks after a completed application, from both employer and student, is received.

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Is there a special list of DYO Employers?

No. Any non-profit organization (including many universities, hospitals, non-partisan governmental agencies, etc.) and, in some cases, small for-profit businesses, who pay an hourly wage may be eligible for funding approval. Whether you find the employer throught a job positng or your initiative and networking, the intent of the DYO Program is for you to find/develop a career related summer internship that may not otherwise be advertised. Don't be afraid to approach a potential employer or faculty member to discuss your career goals, your skills and background, and to explore the possibility of establishing a paid internship opportunity with the organization on a trial basis. You have nothing to lose!

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Can I get FWS funding to work an on-campus summer internship?

Yes, however, you not use the DYO Program application form to request the funding. For students with Federal Work Study and working at an on-campus department over the summer, you need to visit the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment’s web page for their summer on-campus application form that is online.
For students with Federal Work Study and looking to work with a non-profit/community service employer in the Ithaca area within Tompkins County, you need to apply through the Community Work-Study Program, managed by the Public Service Center, located in Kennedy Hall, third floor.

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