Remember, the intent of the Copeland Fund is to enhance the I. S. experience by providing for unique or remarkable opportunities not normally available to students. It is not intended to provide an alternative funding source for expensive I. S. projects.
The Committee will not review proposals that are incomplete in any way or are received late. To give yourself the best odds of receiving at least partial funding, be sure your proposal is clear, complete, and has been read by your I.S. adviser prior to submission. The Committee receives a high volume of proposals that must be decided upon quickly so that projects can begin, therefore there is little opportunity for the Committee to contact you for clarification purposes.
The committee wishes to encourage students to pursue opportunities off-campus and offers the following guidelines for preparing a budget that includes travel expenses:
For car travel you may find the website mapquest.com useful for estimating mileage. You will need to get into the Road Trip Planner. For air travel, you may find travelocity.com and sites of low-cost airlines useful for estimating your air travel expenses. Do not quote Travelocity air and hotel packages unless the hotel rates meet the Copeland Fund guidelines. Because airfares can frequently change, you should double check fares just prior to submitting your proposal to the committee.
Meetings that have a direct bearing on the I.S. project are encouraged. For example, students can receive funding to attend meetings at which a significant portion of the meeting is related to their I.S. topics or at which they would be meeting a person or persons who could have a significant impact upon the experience or analysis of their I.S. projects. Requests by students to attend large national meetings in order to present their data are not generally awarded. These requests are best handled within a department or through the Office of Student Research.
Copying expenses in excess of the College allotment can be a legitimate budget item, but the committee frowns upon copying texts simply for the sake of convenience. If a budget is to include reimbursement for copying expenses, the necessity of making copies for the enhancement of the I. S. must be made clear. It is assumed that students will normally incur the costs of copying texts needed for their I.S., as I.S. is a course that does not require the purchase of any textbooks.
Some departments ask that students send out invitations for the performance or presentation of their I.S. project. The Copeland committee does not consider these to be an enhancement to the I.S. experience and as such, they should not be included in the budget request. Under most circumstances, the Copeland Fund does not subsidize payment for assistance in transcribing interviews, conducting analysis, or providing food or gifts to research subjects.
Any equipment or item purchased with Copeland Funds becomes the property of the College upon completion of the Independent Study. The Fund does not support requests for tape recorders, cameras, or laptop computers. However, students should discuss borrowing available equipment from their department and/or Instructional Technology. In addition, the Fund does not provide support for students to enroll in classes during the summer. If an Independent Study involves the use of books or other typical classroom materials, the rule of thumb is that the student is expected to pay the equivalent of what he/she would incur in purchasing books for a course (which is approximated at $100/semester for a College of Wooster junior).
The Committee cautions against using the Copeland Funds for the purchase of Departmental equipment. All items of equipment or substantial unused supplies purchased with Copeland Funds must be either turned in, or a letter documenting their receipt by the appropriate academic department be turned in to Lisa Crawford, Office of the Provost, upon completion of the Independent Study and before graduation.
Departments need to indicate if a regular budget or an endowed fund is available specifically to be usable for I.S. projects; each I.S. advisor must include this information in the letter of support.
For those departments that have funds to support Independent Study, the proposal should state the amount that the student has available to him or her and deduct that amount from the total cost of the project; the remaining amount will be considered for Copeland Funding. Omission of information on departmental funds will render the application as incomplete.
If a Copeland-funded trip is canceled for personal reasons, the student should reimburse the total grant to the College. If cancellation is due to an emergency or natural disaster, the grantee will be asked to try to get refund of airfare purchased/deposits paid to the extent possible. The chair of the Committee will be the final arbitrator of such matters.
I.S. is a 2-credit course, yet it comes with no textbooks. Therefore, before additional money can be provided to assist you in enhancing your I.S., there is an expectation that you will spend as much on this 2-credit course as you would on any other two classes that required the purchase of textbooks. Our Financial Aid office estimates that our students spend $125/course on textbooks. The Copeland Committee determined averaged costs of textbooks across the three academic disciplines during Fall and Spring of 2012, and estimates that students spend $100/course on 300-level courses across campus, with some variability. Working on the conservative side then, the Committee is only able to fund requests over and above the $150 that all students are expected to pay toward the completion of I.S. There must be an explicit statement in your budget that indicates the inclusion of this money.
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