Announcing the Domestic Summer Award

November 2, 2017

Dear Yale College Students and Family Members,
 
I am pleased to announce a new fellowship program that will support Yale College students who choose to pursue unpaid summer experiences with nonprofit organizations, government entities, NGOs, and practicing artists in the United States. The new program, named the Domestic Summer Award (DSA) Fellowship to Support Experiences with the Arts, Government, and Non-Profit Organizations, will provide students with approved projects who are eligible for Yale financial aid with a $4,000 grant to cover living expenses while pursuing an internship during the summer after their first year, sophomore year, or junior year. The Yale Office of Career Strategy will oversee the award, in collaboration with the Yale Fellowships Office.
 
The new DSA will support the Yale College mission to “educate students through mental discipline and social experience, to develop their intellectual, moral, civic, and creative capacities to the fullest.” In pursuing this mission, 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 the new award, Yale will enable more students to gain direct experience with organizations and individuals whose work is focused on the common good. 
 
Yale has a proud tradition of educating students who become leaders in public service, education, and the arts. Many of Yale’s most noteworthy alumni found the inspiration and foundation for their future service to society while enrolled in Yale College. Today’s students will become the next generation of leaders, with a responsibility to lead in ways that benefit society. Yale believes these future leaders will need both an academic foundation and direct personal experience to understand and respond to our society’s most pressing challenges. 
 
This new DSA builds on the remarkable success of the International Summer Award (ISA), which has enabled thousands of Yale undergraduates who receive financial aid to pursue learning experiences abroad. Thanks in part to the ISA, Yale College students receiving financial aid pursue international experiences during the summer as frequently as students not receiving aid. The DSA will replicate this success for domestic summer experiences with organizations and individuals dedicated to improving society. Eligible students can participate in either or both the DSA and the ISA over their time at Yale.
 
The Office of Career Strategy has compiled a webpage with Frequently Asked Questions about the Domestic Summer Award, available here. Proposals for the inaugural fellowships will be accepted starting later this fall, and the first stipends will be distributed early in the spring semester of 2018.
 
For developing this innovative program from proposal to implementation, I extend my heartfelt thanks to President Peter Salovey, members of Provost Ben Polak’s Working Group on Undergraduate Financial Aid, which includes Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Jeremiah Quinlan, and the staff at the Center for International and Professional Experience led by Dean Jane Edwards. I am also grateful to the Yale College Council for coordinating student input on the need for a DSA program to mirror the ISA program that is so highly applauded and appreciated by students. I am excited to see how our students use this new opportunity in service of their own educational goals and in service to their communities.
 
Marvin Chun
Dean of Yale College
Richard M. Colgate Professor of Psychology; Neuroscience; Cognitive Science