FAQ

Questions about Eligibility

Who can apply?

Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors in all majors can apply. APEX Fellows may not be on academic probation and must maintain good standing under The College of Wooster’s Codes of Academic Integrity and Social Responsibility. Students must also be enrolled at The College of Wooster or in a Wooster-endorsed off-campus study program the semesters preceding and following the Fellowship. 

What are the kinds of experiences for which I can apply?

APEX Fellowships support unpaid or underpaid (that is, wages or stipends equal to less than the amount of the awards) summer internships or vocational exploration programs. We support students who do on-site immersive work, are given meaningful tasks, and can perform a variety of capacities and with a mixture of employees. While some tasks may be mundane, the majority should demand professional responsibility. Host sites must provide a supervisor to regularly monitor the student’s progress and give feedback.

What kinds of experiences are ineligible?

APEX Fellowships do not support some summer research, including I.S. research, credit-bearing academic programs, travel programs, or work for the student’s family enterprise.

What type of research is eligible for support?

APEX uses the definition of authenticity the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE) details in its Eight Principles of Good Practice for All Experiential Learning Activities to evaluate what type of research we will support: “The experience must have a real world context and/or be useful and meaningful in reference to an applied setting or situation. This means that is should be designed in concert with those who will be affected by or use it, or in response to a real situation.”

An example of a research experience supported by an APEX Fellowship:  A student doing lab-based research on HIV/AIDS spent part of their summer interviewing AIDS patients as part of their intake session when coming to receive treatment.

If you have questions about whether your proposed summer experience qualifies, speak with Experiential Learning staff in APEX before applying. We find most students who intend to propose a strictly lab-based experience are able to incorporate an applied component when prepared to discuss this with their P.I.

 Will an APEX Fellowship support remote internships?

While supporting students gaining professional experience in a shared workplace setting is preferred, the realities of the pandemic and shifts in workplace settings make remote internships an attractive option, as long as the host organization adheres to good practices regarding on-boarding, supervision and communication.  Michael True, author of InternQube, has put together this check list to help determine if a remote opportunity will work for a student.

What if I don’t have a position secured by the time the application is due?  Can I still apply for a Fellowship?

To be considered for funding, all proposals must have confirmed positions. This includes actual internship site placements promised by third party providers.  Although some organizations say they notify acceptances of summer internships after our deadlines, often they will respond sooner if told about the fellowship program and due dates.  Applications submitted after the last deadline will be considered on a first-come first served, space available basis.  Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Questions About Funding

How much funding can I receive?

APEX Fellowships provide funding for unpaid or under-paid internships or vocational exploration programs at two levels: $2025 for six weeks and 225 hours, and $2700 for eight weeks and 300 hours. In addition, students may apply for up to $600 to off-set costs related to travel to/from the host site (excluding cost of traveling home) and/or commuting costs.

What if I find an opportunity that is less than full time? Can I still apply?

Yes, as long as you work both the minimum number of weeks and the minimum number of hours. For example, a student who finds an opportunity for 25 hours a week could work nine weeks and still receive the $2025 award (25 hrs/wk x 9 wks = 225 hrs).

What if I find a great internship or vocational exploration program that is shorter than 6 weeks? Can I still apply?

No.  APEX Fellowships are awarded to summer experiences that are both at least 6 weeks in duration and require at least 225 hours of activity related to the internship or vocational exploration program.

Can I apply if I find an internship that pays a salary or provides a stipend? 

If your organization provides compensation less than what the Fellowships offer (up to $2025 for 6 weeks or $2700 for 8 weeks) you may apply for funding to make up the difference. As a recipient of APEX funds, you will be required to participate fully in all expectations of APEX Fellows.

How will I get the funds?

You will receive your funds (minus $300) as a lump sum in May. The last $300 is awarded in the fall after completing all assignments and reports.

I hear some students can get an additional $500. How does that happen?

Up to ten students will be named Andrew Fellows and will receive an additional $500 for demonstrating excellence in the application process. after the cohort of APEX Fellows has been selected. Applicants will be evaluated on:

  • Advising meetings with Experiential Learning staff throughout the application process
  • Quality of résumé
  • Demonstration of communication with reference writers
  • Quality of extended answers on the application
  • Quality of LinkedIn profile
  • Demonstration of interview preparation
  • Follow up with the interview committee 

For details on being considered for this additional award, please see Experiential Learning staff in APEX.

Do I have to pay taxes on the fellowship?

Possibly. This depends on how much you have earned in the tax reporting year. For specific questions, consult your tax advisor for answers. You are responsible for reporting the monies to the IRS.

Selection Criteria

How are the applications evaluated? 

The Selection Committee will appraise proposals for:

  • Strength of connection to academic interests
  • Strength of connection to personal and professional experiences and interests
  • Level of authentic responsibilities, opportunities for growth, student safety, and supervision provided in proposed internship/program
  • Depth of the vocational exploration questions you seek to examine
  • Clarity of goals and measurable outcomes you propose
  • Strength of your personal recommendations

Who is on the selection committee?

Experiential Learning Peer Advisors, APEX professional staff, and Faculty Mentors.

Additional Info for International Students

You could have as much as 30% withheld from your grant. If you have specific questions about the amount of tax withholding, please confer with Student Employment.

If you do your Fellowship in the U.S.:

  • You must meet with Carole Knoble in International Student Services to make sure you understand and comply with all regulations related to your visa.
  • You must have had full-time student status in the U.S. for a full academic year before you do your internship. 
  • If you have not worked in the U.S. before, you will need to apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) once you have an employment letter.  You must have a SSN before you can receive any fellowship monies.
  • The experience must be tied to your major. You must apply for Curricular Practical Training (CPT) and ask your department chair to sign the CPT form to verify your experience relates to your major. As an APEX Fellow, you receive academic credit with your award, therefore you do not need to apply for or pay for a summer internship credit. 

If you do your Fellowship outside the U.S.:

  • Make sure your U.S. visa is valid upon return, otherwise, you must renew it before you return to the U.S.
  • Have at least 6 months remaining on your passport before returning to the U.S., otherwise, it must be renewed.