Alternative Break Program
The Alternative Break Program provides travel funds and other support for students who are interested in developing their own team-based civic engagement projects internationally, domestically or locally. The travel and civic engagement project must take place over one of the academic breaks in spring, summer or winter. The funds come in the form of matching grants. Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, General Studies and Barnard College students are eligible for the funds, but any Columbia University student can participant in the civic engagement project and serve on the team. The civic engagement projects need to be based on the 5 Pathways to Service, and the funds can only be applied to travel expenses (transportation, lodging, food, etc.).
Alternative Break Program staff will also help you organize and run your team's trip from start to finish!
Arts Initiative Student Arts Grant
In both the fall and spring semesters, the Arts Initiative administers Student Arts Grants (commonly known as the Gatsby Grants) to help fund non-curricular arts projects created by students that are accessible to the Columbia community. Past projects have included concerts, dance performances, literary publications, musical theater, photography exhibits and visual arts events, among many others. University-recognized students groups, non-recognized groups and individual Columbia students are eligible to apply. Applications are reviewed once per semester per group/individual applicant. Visit the Arts Initiative's website for more information, eligibility requirements and FAQs.
Capital Investment Fund
The Capital Investment Fund was created to address the need of student groups who have difficulties securing funding for large-scale overhauls of equipment or supplies.
Such groups only need an injection of supplemental funds every 3-5 years for revamping now-outdated equipment or technology in order to remain modern, effective and/or safe. Examples might include Columbia TV’s need to purchase new cameras or Columbia Kayaking’s need to replace their boats for safety reasons. These groups have struggled to finance necessary purchases because of high overhead and historically-based allocations.
The Capital Investment Fund is capped at $20,000, and awards are granted in the Fall Term and in the Spring Term. Student groups who apply during the Fall Term will be expected to make purchases during the Spring Term, and student groups who apply in the Spring Term will be expected to make purchases during the following Fall Term. A joint committee of the four student council Vice Presidents of Finance, governing board representatives, and relevant administrators will oversee applications and determine how to allocate funds. The funds will come from the budgets of the Columbia College Student Council (CCSC), the Engineering Student Council (ESC), General Studies Student Council (GSSC), and Student Government Association of Barnard (SGA).
Eligible groups are asked to consider their needs carefully to determine whether they are a good fit for the Capital Investment fund. Due to the specialized nature of the fund, a Capital Investment Fund award is only granted to a student group once every three years. The group must prove that the grant will be used to benefit the undergraduate community, such as by elevating the level of event programming, providing academic resources, improving community, promoting wellness or more.
Columbia College Travel Fund
The Columbia College Travel Fund provides financial support to currently enrolled Columbia College students for domestic or international travel, networking, competitions, conferences and/or service work connected to recognized student group activities.
Columbia College Student Council proposed the Columbia College Travel Fund, which is generously financed by the dean of Columbia College and administratively supported by Undergraduate Student Life.
Who should apply?
Currently enrolled Columbia College students and representatives from University-recognized student groups may apply for funding on behalf of the Columbia College students who will be traveling. Students applying for and receiving funding must be in good academic and judicial standing.
Priority is given to applicants who provide a thorough and realistic projected budget and to first-time applicants. Note that individual students and/or groups may apply for funding more than once.
How is funding awarded?
Amounts are based on the strength of the application and the funds available. These may be awarded up to, but may not exceed, 100% of the total request. Registration, lodging and transportation are allowable expenses from the fund. However, funding may not be used for reimbursements or for car rentals.
Students seeking opportunities for support of individual summer internships should review the Center for Career Education Funding Programs.
You must complete an online application at least 30 days in advance of traveling to be considered. Applications are reviewed every Friday for submissions entered between 12:01 p.m. on Wednesday of the previous week through noon on Wednesday of the current week.
The committee reviewing applications includes a staff member from Student Engagement and two representatives from the Columbia College Student Council.
Guidelines for Funding Recipients
All students who are awarded support through the Columbia College Travel Fund must abide by all University policies and procedures, including the Undergraduate International Travel Policy. Recipients must also complete the Columbia College Travel Fund Debrief Form within 30 days of completing their travel.
For further information on the Columbia College Travel Fund, please email Josh Lucas, director of Student Engagement, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Governing Board Appeals
Please refer to your governing board's policies and procedures for submitting an appeal.
Joint Council Co-Sponsorships
In order to increase campus unity and to better serve student groups, the four undergraduate student councils of Columbia University — Columbia College Student Council (CCSC), Engineering Student Council (ESC), General Studies Student Council (GSSC), and the Student Government Association (SGA) — created a joint committee in Fall 2010: the Joint Council Co-Sponsorship Committee (JCCC).
This fund covers new events, emergency funding and subsized travel for recognized and unrecognized student groups.
Please refer to the Joint Council Co-Sponsorship Committee's funding application to review guidelines and apply online. For any general questions, email email@example.com or review the JCCC constitution.
Kraft Family Fund for Intercultural and Interfaith Awareness
The Kraft Family Fund is administered by the Office of the University Chaplain and encourages recognized student groups at Columbia University and Barnard College to collaborate on projects that promote intercultural and interfaith awareness. Sponsored programs will provide students with timely and appropriate venues for exploring controversial issues and resolving conflicts in a manner that promotes greater understanding among Columbia University students of diverse backgrounds and perspectives.
Projects eligible for consideration will bring together two or more recognized student, cultural, and/or faith-based groups that seek to advance intercultural and/or interfaith awareness through interaction and an open exchange of ideas. Eligible projects may also be collaborative projects between a recognized student religious or cultural group and the Office of the University Chaplain. They may involve events that take place off campus or entail training and education projects. Projects that meet the guidelines of the fund will include a wide range of activities, events, and discussions that bring together students and create shared opportunities for learning and dialogue that emphasize the intersection of the unique relationships between culture, religion, race, and ethnicity.
Recognized student groups that are interested in applying must schedule a brief meeting with Kraft Fund administrators to review their proposal before applications are accepted. The review committee will meet after the application deadline to make decisions on projects that will be awarded. No project will be funded retroactively. Only after an award confirmation is received should groups begin allocating monies from the Kraft Fund. E-mail the Kraft Fund or visit the Office of the University Chaplain for additional information.
The Office of the University Chaplain Co-Sponsorship Fund
The Office of the University Chaplain Co-Sponsorship Fund is available to Columbia University’s undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. This fund provides administrative and financial support to programs that focus on religion, spirituality, race, ethnicity, sexual identity, gender, social justice, and community service.
The Office of the University Chaplain Co-Sponsorship Fund is available for recurring events, as well as first-time innovative programs. This year the fund will only be awarded during the Spring semester. Proposals that are accepted are required to submit a flyer or invitation to the Office of the University Chaplain prior to the event and a one-page essay on how their event(s) contributed to strengthening coherence and unity at the University following the event. “The Office of the University Chaplain” must appear on all publicity including posters, flyers, calendars, newspaper advertisements and broadcast messages as a co-sponsor of the event.
For further information, please contact the Office of the University Chaplain.
The President’s and Provost’s Student Initiative Fund
The President’s and Provost’s Student Initiative Fund is available to all recognized Columbia University student organizations. It provides financial support to projects which benefit the University community through first-time initiatives that foster inter-group communication, collaboration, and educational programming on campus. While this fund generally supports new and innovative programs, organizations that received funding in the past are encouraged to apply for funding for any new initiatives.
Each semester the President and Provost make $10,000 available specifically for funding undergraduate initiatives. The review committee currently includes representatives from Columbia College, Barnard College, Columbia School of General Studies, and Columbia Engineering. Each semester this committee is charged with awarding funds to those applications that best align with these goals.
A project or event should:
- Be a first-time event and/or program
- Cross school and university boundaries
- Benefit the University community
- Promote inter-group communication and collaboration
- Be cultural, educational, or social in nature
Information and applications are posted on the Lerner Hall Web site during the first two months of the Fall and Spring semesters. For further information, please refer to the University Event Management Web site.
SEAS Dean Travel Fund
A fund open to SEAS undergraduate students that engage in competitions, conferences, or service. The fund is developed by the Dean of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, with administrative support from Student Engagement.
Student Group Funding-In partnership with ESC, the SEAS Dean Travel Fund provides specific funding to Engineers Without Borders, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of Women Engineers and Society of Hispanic Professionals and Engineers for competition/conference/networking events and service trips. Members of these student groups can apply for additional funding through track 1 and track 2, however, priority is given to members of engineering groups that do not have funding secured.
Track 1: Competition/Conference Networking Event- This track is for SEAS students involved in recognized undergraduate engineering groups who participate in competitions, conferences and networking events. These funds are awarded to students in good academic and judiciary standing. Students must also be deemed in good standing with an engineering group (usually by the organization president or adviser). The award can total up to 50% of the registration fee, travel and lodging costs. Students must apply one month before the competition, conference or networking event and can only be awarded funding once during the academic year.
Track 2: Service Trip: Service Support Grant - This track is for SEAS students who are participants in University-affiliated programs or are members of University-recognized student groups engaged in service work which may require a student to travel domestically or abroad. These funds are awarded to students in good academic and judiciary standing as well as those who have demonstrated financial need – verified by the Office of Financial Aid. The award can total up to 50% of the travel and lodging costs. Students must apply one month before the service trip and can only be awarded funding once during the academic year.
Click here for the SEAS Dean Travel Fund Application
Click here for the SEAS Dean Travel Fund Debrief Form
For further information on the SEAS Dean Travel Fund, please email Briget Arndell, Assistant Director of Leadership and Civic Engagement at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sponsorship with Other Schools
You must receive your adviser’s approval before approaching a group from another institution or inviting students from other universities to an event. Any off-campus advertising must be approved by your adviser and admission policies applicable to the event must be clearly explained in publicity. Additional conditions regarding security and guest lists will be determined based on the specifics of your event. It is highly recommended that co-sponsorships with other schools are arranged through a signed contract.
Student Group Co-Sponsorship
Consult with other student organizations recognized by the University to find groups that may be interested in organizing and co-sponsoring an event with you. For a list of organizations and Web sites, you can refer to the website of each governing board or refer to LionLink.