Cornell University

Overview for Students

If you wish to work for an organization/agency outside of Tompkins County for the summer, both you and the employer can complete an application for the DYO program and if approved, the employer can be reimbursed for a significant portion of your summer wages. This program can be a great hiring incentive for both paid internships as well as stipend-based, or unpaid internships. See the DYO Program Proposal for details on how to negotiate your hourly wage with employers of interest.

Student Eligibility

  • Must be Federal Work-Study (FWS) eligible during the current academic year.
  • Returning to Cornell as an undergraduate, or participating in affiliated academic programs off-campus in the fall semester.
  • Cannot be graduating before December 2019
  • Cannot be registered for 6 or more credit hours of summer classes. If you are taking more than 6 credit hours, you must apply for Summer Financial Aid.

Note: Because your eligibility for FWS may change each year, you must submit a new student DYO application every year. Your funding is NOT automatically renewed even if you are rehired by the same employer. Employers must also complete a new DYO funding request application annually.

Job or Internship Eligibility

  • Internship/job must be career-related or academically relevant.
  • Internship must be with a nonprofit OR with a small for-profit employer.
  • The job must be located in the United States.
  • Employment must be for at least 35 hours per week.
  • 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). Stipend- or commission-based salaries will not be reimbursed.
  • Position must last 8—10 weeks.


Due to Federal or Cornell regulations, we cannot consider jobs or employers:

  • with a direct religious or partisan political affiliation
  • for students to work in their family-owned business
  • with a lobbying organization (or lobbying function within an organization)
  • with an employer that restricts its membership
  • with the U.S. Department of Education or U.S. Department of Justice
  • that offer stipend or commission-based salaries, or are unpaid/volunteer
  • with a medium to large for-profit with multiple worksites
  • that do not have a regular supervisory/intern interaction
  • located in a foreign country
  • with an employer that is student-led or run by a student or recent graduate (supervisor must be a seasoned professional)
  • no reimbursement will be made for lunchtime, holidays, sick days, transportation, or other compensation.


Your employer can be reimbursed for wages paid up to your total FWS award amount (typically $4,000). The DYO employer pays the student as wages are earned through their payroll system, and Cornell reimburses the employer in the fall (usually by the middle of November) for a percentage of the student's summer wages.

All earnings are considered taxable income and must be paid through an established payroll system (i.e., on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, no cash payments, personal checks, stipends, or lump sum payments). Students must be paid by the employer and not through a temporary employment agency that "places" them with the employer, nor by a personal check of your supervisor. If your employer fails to withhold the appropriate State, Federal, and FICA taxes, you will be responsible for claiming your gross income from the job on your income tax return and the employer will forfeit the wage reimbursement.

When considering DYO opportunities, remember to plan for your summer earnings component of your financial-aid package. Detailed information is available at

Both students and employers must submit the required forms and materials to be considered for the program. View Forms to apply.

Questions? Email