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Domestic Summer Award (DSA)

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Domestic Summer Award (DSA) Fellowship to Support Experiences with the Arts, Sciences, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations

The DSA provides a stipend of $4,000 to Yale undergraduate students on financial aid who have secured an approved unpaid summer opportunity in one of the following: a 501(c)(3) nonprofit including non-profit Universities; a government entity including public Universities; a non-governmental organization (NGO); an Arts Apprenticeship; or a Science, Laboratory, or Other Research Opportunity. The opportunity must be located within the United States or U.S. Territories.

Quote: Yale College seeks to prepare students to make positive and lasting impacts in every community in which they will engage throughout their lives. By creating this award, Yale enables more students to gain direct experience with organizations and individuals whose work is focused on the common good. 

– Marvin Chun, Dean of Yale College

TOC:

DSA Student Eligibility

Note: Students must meet all of the below criteria to be eligible.

  • First-year student, sophomore, or junior currently enrolled in Yale College.
  • Recipient of financial aid from Yale that includes a Yale Scholarship for Spring 2019 (students on Leave of Absence may be eligible - contact OCS for more information).
  • Has not received a previous DSA. Eligible students can receive an ISA for a different summer. Students can use the DSA and ISA in the same summer as long as both meet the requirements.
  • Has secured a summer experience located in the U.S. that meets the below DSA opportunity requirements.

DSA-Eligibile Opportunities

Note: The opportunity must receive approval through the application process.

  • Opportunity must be full time (at least 30 hours/week).
  • Opportunity must be for at least 8 weeks. If over 8 weeks, there is no additional funding through the DSA.
  • The opportunity is unpaid. Underfunded opportunities ($1500 or less) will be considered by the Committee.
  • The opportunity is required to have a supervisor who will provide regular supervision and mentorship throughout the summer. The supervisor must have a permanent connection to the organization, such as a permanent employee of the organization or a board member. The supervisor cannot be another student. 
  • The opportunity is with one of the following types of entities:
    1. Certified 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization: Including a non-profit University or NGO. To confirm this status, visit Guidestar and enter the organization’s name in the Pro Search field. Because the mission of the DSA includes professional development, the Nonprofit organization must be established for at least one year and must be listed in Guidestar to be eligible.
    2. Local, state, federal or tribal government entity: Including a public University.
    3. Arts Apprenticeship: The establishment of a formal mentoring relationship with an artist/creator within an artistic field: visual arts, theater and performance arts, creative writing, architecture and design, music, filmmaking and media arts. The student must confirm that the artist/creator is willing to assume a formal and direct mentoring role in supervision of the student’s summer experience. 
    4. Science, Laboratory, or Other Research: The establishment of a formal mentoring relationship with a faculty member or research staff member at a public or non-profit University, including Yale University, or other non-profit or public entity, such as the National Institute of Health. An acceptable research opportunity requires the student to confirm that the faculty or research staff member is willing to take on a formal and direct mentoring role in supervision of the student’s summer experience.

DSA will not cover

  • For-profit organizations offering unpaid opportunities.
  • Provider groups where the student is not applying directly to the employer.
  • Unpaid jobs at Yale University other than research opportunities with a faculty or research staff member.
  • Programs that require tuition.
  • Political Campaign Work.

DSA Application Information

Point: Deadlines for the 2019 DSA: May 1, 2019 

To apply for the DSA:

Please follow the steps below:

  1. Download and send the Host Organization Verification Form to your supervisor. Once completed by your supervisor, proceed to the next step.

  1. Log into your Yale Career Link (powered by Symplicity) account. From your home page, select the link "Professional Experiences" located under the My Account tab (bottom, left-hand corner).
  2. DSA Proposals take up to 20 business days to be reviewed and students will be contacted if additional time is needed. 
  3. If approved, you will receive an email from OCS informing you of the approval.
  4. Once approved, you will receive an email alerting you when your check is ready for pickup.
  5. If your DSA proposal is not approved, you will receive notice explaining the reason. You are welcome to submit an alternative DSA proposal before May 1 if your first one is not approved.

If you have any questions, please come to drop-ins or make an appointment through the Yale Career Link to meet with a career adviser. Drop ins are held Monday-Friday 10:00 am-4:00 pm at 55 Whitney Avenue, third floor (when classes are in session).

Frequently Asked Questions: General Eligibility

FAQ: If I use my DSA for one summer, will I still be eligible for an International Summer Award (ISA) during another summer?

Yes; Yale College students eligible for the DSA and ISA are able to use the awards for different summers while at Yale. Students may use both the ISA and DSA in the same summer as long as the requirements of both awards are met.  Each opportunity must be at least 8 weeks. The ISA does cover some academic experiences that are less than 8 weeks and in those cases, the ISA and DSA may be used in the same summer as long as the student completes the requirements of each experience. 

FAQ: I’m a senior, hoping to secure an unpaid opportunity the summer following May graduation, can I apply for a DSA?

No; the DSA is for current first-years, sophomores, and juniors. Visit the Fellowships Office website for more information on post-graduate fellowship opportunities.

FAQ: I am an international student, if my opportunity is covered by the DSA, do I need to use my Optional Practical Training (OPT) since the opportunity is in the United States?

If you are an international student engaging in a completely unpaid summer opportunity AND that opportunity has been approved for the DSA, you may still need to use your OPT for that summer.  Please visit the Office of International Students & Scholars for more details, and schedule an appointment with Ozan Say.

FAQ: Can I combine two part-time experiences that amount to a full-time commitment (30 hours/week)?

No; the proposal must be inclusive of one experience only.

FAQ: What about a for-profit industry that does not traditionally pay its interns?

No; unpaid opportunities with for-profit employers are not DSA eligible. Please meet with an OCS Common Good & Creative Careers adviser to discuss the particular employer or industry.

FAQ: Can I use the DSA for opportunities within the U.S. or Native American territories?

Yes; the DSA can be used for opportunities with a tribal nation located within the U.S., and all U.S. territories including: Puerto Rico, Guam, U.S. Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa.

FAQ: Can I use the DSA to fund an unpaid student job with a Yale Center or Yale student organization?

No; students cannot use the DSA to fund a unpaid student job at Yale University including those with Yale centers or student organizations. However the DSA can be used to fund Science, Laboratory & Other Research with a Yale faculty or research staff member. An acceptable research opportunity requires the student to confirm that the faculty or research staff member is willing to take on a formal and direct mentoring role in supervision of the student’s summer experience.

FAQ: I am volunteering with a nonprofit or government agency for 8 weeks, minimum of 30 hours per week. Can this be considered for the DSA?

If your volunteer opportunity fits the eligibility requirements of the DSA and your proposal clearly shows why this volunteer opportunity is an important part of your career path, the Committee will consider it for the DSA.

FAQ: Which types of Education opportunities qualify for the DSA?

Unpaid opportunities with public and nonprofit Pre-K-12 educational institutions qualify for the DSA. Science, Laboratory & Other Research opportunities at public and nonprofit higher education institutions, including at Yale University, also qualify for DSA funding. Students can verify that the educational institution is a nonprofit using GuideStar.

FAQ: Are any of the opportunities in the Yale Career Link eligible for DSA funding?

Yes, there are several domestic opportunities at non-profits or government organizations, and therefore may be eligible for DSA funding, Students are encouraged to search for employers tagged as 'Preferred Yale Partners' in the Yale Career Link, as well as other opportunities, as they consider where to use their DSA award.

Frequently Asked Questions: Applying for DSA & Other Yale Fellowships

FAQ: Is there a final deadline?

May 1 is the deadline. Students who have secured an opportunity with the federal government but are waiting for security clearance, should see 'FAQ: How does the DSA work for students who are waiting on their security clearance?' 

FAQ: How does the DSA work for students who are waiting on their security clearance?

If a student is offered an opportunity with the government but the offer is pending due to security clearance, the student may submit the DSA application, but a check will not be issued until the clearance is final. Students in this situation can select one of the following options:

Option 1: For students who want an alternative option, if the security clearance has not been approved by the May 1 DSA deadline please inform OCS and then the student has until May 15 to upload a new DSA proposal for a different eligible opportunity. The student must relinquish the first opportunity (requiring security clearance) before submitting the new proposal.

Option 2: If a student chooses to wait for the security clearance beyond May 1, a DSA check will not be issued until documentation is received showing final clearance. If the clearance does not come through, the student will not have the option to submit an alternative proposal for that summer. The student can withdraw the DSA application entirely and save their DSA for a future summer.

FAQ: Can I meet with someone before completing my DSA application to ensure I'm approaching this correctly?

Yes; through your Yale Career Link account, you can make an appointment with any OCS adviser to discuss your DSA application or come to drop-in advising for quick questions. Drop-in advising is available Monday-Friday 10am-4pm at 55 Whitney Avenue, 3rd Floor (when classes are in session).

FAQ: If I don't have a secured opportunity yet, can I still apply for my DSA?

No; in order to complete an application for your DSA, you must have a secured opportunity at the time of application.  If you need support in determining whether or not an anticipated opportunity would qualify for the DSA, please meet with an OCS career adviser to discuss your intended plans.

FAQ: What are the DSA policies that I am agreeing to when I submit my DSA application?

DSA recipients must 1) watch/read an online predeparture, 2) submit a reflection project at the end of the summer, 3)  return any DSA funding received, in the event the student’s plans change making the opportunity no longer DSA eligible, 4) return a prorated amount of the DSA funding for any time less than eight weeks, in the event the student withdraws or fails to complete the summer experience, 5) complete a mid-summer and end-of-summer check in with my supervisor.

FAQ: How soon will I be informed if my DSA proposal is approved?

DSA proposals take up to 20 business days to be confirmed and approved. Students will be contacted if additional time is needed.

FAQ: I am eligible for the DSA, but also have an interest in applying for fellowships.  What should I do?

Students are strongly encouraged to apply for fellowships before applying for the DSA. If a student receives a fellowship for the full amount of their proposed budget, they will not need to apply for the DSA and can save it for another summer. 

Students receive fellowship award notifications in mid-April. If a student is not awarded a fellowship, or is awarded less than the proposed budget, the DSA can be used to take them to their full budget. Students will have two weeks to apply for the DSA. 

The DSA application asks: “Have you applied for additional fellowships? If yes, please list the fellowship name and the fellowship award amount and your status.” If, by using the DSA, the student is funded beyond their proposed fellowship budget, the fellowship award will be reduced to accommodate the DSA.  DSA eligible students are encouraged to meet with an OCS adviser to discuss how to navigate these opportunities.

Examples:

  • Fellowship budget is $5,000 and student is awarded $5,000 fellowship -- student does not need to apply for the DSA
  • Fellowship budget is $6,000 and student is awarded $3,000 fellowship and applies for DSA -- fellowship award will be reduced to $2,000 ($2,000 fellowship + $4,000 DSA = $6,000)

FAQ: Can I use funding from both the DSA and another fellowship to cover additional costs beyond the $4,000 DSA?

A student’s first step should be to apply for other fellowships before the DSA. If the student has a budget over $4,000 and would like to propose that they need funding from both the DSA and additional fellowships, the student should indicate this in their budget for their non-DSA fellowship proposal. The fellowship committee will review the budget proposal and determine what they are able to fund. The DSA is a flat award of $4,000 so students cannot propose to use only a partial amount of this award.

Example:

  • Fellowship budget is $6,000 and student is awarded $3,000 fellowship and applies for DSA -- fellowship award will be reduced to $2,000 ($2,000 fellowship + $4,000 DSA = $6,000)

Frequently Asked Questions: DSA Stipend Information

FAQ: What if a student is receiving additional scholarships or fellowships for their opportunity?

Students applying for a DSA who are also applying for additional fellowship funding must include this information in their DSA application.

FAQ: What if the opportunity provides its own small stipend but is not sufficient?

If the opportunity is underfunded, then it can be considered for the DSA funding. The Committee defines underfunded as $1500 or less for an 8-week summer opportunity.  International Students must consult with the Office of International Students and Scholars.

FAQ: Are there any requirements on how I use the DSA funding? Do I need to return the funds if I end up withdrawing from my opportunity?

Students who receive a DSA are required to use the money for the purposes for which it was granted. Students who withdraw from funded programs and activities will be required to repay Yale the amount of their award.

FAQ: What if I leave the organization early and do not fulfill the 8-week requirement?

If a student leaves an organization early, the student must notify the Office of Career Strategy and is required to return the prorated amount of the award to Yale.

FAQ: Is the DSA taxable?

Under federal tax law, a scholarship or fellowship provided to a student in a degree granting program is generally taxable. If you are a candidate for a degree, however, you can exclude from taxable income that part of the award used to pay the costs of tuition, required fees, books, equipment and supplies (required fees, books, equipment and supplies are limited to those specifically required of all students in a course). You cannot exclude from taxable income any part of the grant used for other purposes, such as room and board. Please refer to IRS Publication 970, Tax Benefits for Higher Education, Section 1, Scholarship, Fellowships, Grants and Tuition Reductions and the IRS tax guide for students, Taxable Income for Students. While CIPE cannot offer tax advice, the IRS Tax Office on Court Street does offer free tax advice to students.

FAQ: I am an international student, do I need to look into any additional tax requirements?

Yes, international students must complete certain forms at the International Tax Office before receiving the DSA. If you have not already done so, please make an appointment at Yale's International Tax Office.

Fequently Asked Questions: Arts Apprenticeship Information

FAQ: What are the requirements for an engagement to qualify as an eligible apprenticeship?

For an experience to qualify as an Arts Apprenticeship, a practicing artist will need to commit to taking on a mentoring role in supervision of the student’s overall summer experience. It is allowable for students to engage in supporting activities, such as research and assisting, but the artist must be consistently available to contextualize the experience and extend the student’s professional and creative development. The 8 week, 30 hours/week minimum summer duration also applies to the Arts Apprenticeship.

FAQ: What artistic disciplines are compatible with the Arts Apprenticeship program?

Any creator of professional work within an artistic field can be considered a candidate for establishing an Arts Apprenticeship. Examples include architects, creative writers, designers, visual artists, filmmakers, theater creatives, dancers and performance artists, musicians and composers. Please speak with a member of the Common Good & Creative Careers team to discuss potential eligibility.

FAQ: Are there existing Arts Apprenticeships that can be funded with the DSA?

Yes, search within the Yale Career Link Job Board for the Yale-coordinated “CGCC Arts Apprenticeship Program” to see approved apprenticeships that can be applied for through the Yale Career Link.

FAQ: My Yale professor also has a professional arts practice. Would a summer apprenticeship with his/her studio qualify for a DSA?

Yale faculty members with an arts practice, willing to take on the necessary mentoring engagement, are acceptable candidates for the Arts Apprenticeship model. It is also possible that Yale arts faculty would be eligible for the research-based version of the DSA. Please meet with a member of the Common Good & Creative Careers team to discuss further.

FAQ: I have an unpaid opportunity with an arts related for profit company this summer, could I use the DSA to fund that opportunity?

No, the for profit status of the company will make this ineligible for traditional DSA funding. The DSA Arts Apprenticeship category is reserved for students planning a mentoring relationship with a practicing artist. It cannot be used to fund a summer engagement with a for profit company, even if that employer is arts related. An appropriate apprenticeship experience needs to be supervised by a practicing artist and built around the individual mentoring relationship with that artist.

FAQ: What if the apprenticeship program requires me to pay a tuition for the training, or the artist I'm working with needs to be financially compensated for her mentoring role?

For an arts apprenticeship to be considered for DSA funding there can be no tuition component required from the student or financial compensation expected for the artist.

Fequently Asked Questions: Science, Laboratory or Other Research Opportunity

FAQ: Can I use my DSA to conduct research with a Yale faculty member?

Yes; students should apply through the regular DSA process and the deadline to apply is May 1, 2019.

FAQ: What are the requirements for an experience to qualify as an eligible research opportunity in Science or another discipline?

To receive Committee approval, research with a faculty or research staff member must be full-time, with direct supervision by that faculty or staff member and be in furtherance of a research agenda and not towards the faculty member’s teaching-related tasks. The supervising researcher will need to commit to taking on a mentoring role in supervision of the student’s overall summer experience. 

FAQ: Who is considered a faculty or research staff member for purposes of using a DSA for research?

Faculty members for this purpose include Professors, Associate Professors, Assistant Professors, Research Associates, Lecturers, Lectors, Instructors, Visiting Professors, Adjunct Professors, Clinical Professors, Museum Curators, University Librarians and Yale Summer Session Faculty across Yale College and Yale Graduate & Professional Schools. Research supervised solely by a postdoctoral scholar or PhD student will not qualify.

FAQ: What are examples of research at Yale University that could receive DSA approval?

The following opportunities are examples of research at Yale University that would be eligible for DSA funding. 

  • Working with a faculty member in a Yale Laboratory.
  • Assisting a faculty member with research for an upcoming book or other publication.
  • Working with a Yale Museum or Yale Gallery Curator in the research necessary for an upcoming exhibit.
  • Assisting a faculty member in the research necessary for an upcoming Yale theater production.
  • Assisting a faculty member with field research conducted within the United States.

FAQ: Can I use the DSA to fund my individual research agenda?

Yes, a student may use the DSA to fund their individual research agenda if the student has established a formal mentoring relationship with a faculty or research staff member who has agreed to take on a formal and direct mentoring role in supervision of the student’s summer research. The supervising faculty or research staff member must complete the Employer Verification form as part of the DSA application. The student can not also gain course credit for the summer experience. The 8-week, 30 hours/week minimum summer duration still applies to this type of research.

FAQ: What if the research program requires me to pay a tuition for the training or the supervisor I'm working with asks to be financially compensated for the mentoring role?

In order to be considered for DSA funding there can be no tuition component required from the student or financial compensation expected for the supervisor.