Student Engagement Network summer 2019 grant application now open

Deadline to apply is March 15

Olivia Richart, a Penn State sophomore majoring in agricultural sciences, working on a ranch in eastern Montana, holding a bucket of apple cider vinegar to pour into the bull’s water trough. Richart traveled to Montana to work as a ranch hand on a grass-fed beef operation over the summer of 2018 with the support of the Student Engagement Network. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State undergraduate students from all campuses and fields of study who are interested in expanding their knowledge beyond the classroom through engagement experiences are encouraged to apply for a Student Engagement Network grant by March 15.

The Student Engagement Network grant program ensures that students from all economic backgrounds can locate out-of-classroom learning opportunities that Penn State and the broader community have to offer.

Through a competitive application process, awards are given to undergraduate students from across Penn State’s campuses, including World Campus. Grant recipients may use funding to cover the costs of living (i.e. housing, food, transportation), supplies and materials for events and presentations, and other costs related to an engagement experience.

Engagement experiences cover a wide variety of learning and growth opportunities, including research, internships, co-ops, study abroad, study away, service learning, artistic creation and performance, participation in student and professional clubs and organizations, peer mentoring, and philanthropic service, among others.

The development of a strong grant proposal is a crucial part of a successful student engagement plan. Students will be required to describe their experience and explain the overall impact. The application also requires students to express how their experience will affect their personal development related to growth areas, how it will impact society, and why funding is necessary to support their goals.

If chosen for an award, students are required to attend an information session prior to their experience, identify a supervisor or mentor, and share their story when it’s over.

Olivia Richart, a sophomore majoring in agricultural sciences, traveled to Montana to work as a ranch hand on a grass-fed beef operation over the summer of 2018 with the support of the Student Engagement Network. She was involved with every aspect of ranch, from branding and ear-notching claves to selling finished beef at regional farmer’s markets.

Looking back on her experience, Richart said, “The entire experience was incredible, and it opened my eyes to a different way to nourish the soil and cultivate the land. Never before in my life have I felt so fulfilled at the end of the work day. The best part about my time spent in Montana was realizing how much I value working in hands-on, outdoor employment. I have since fallen in love with ranching and the Western lifestyle, and I believe that I would like to pursue it as a career.”

Richart is one among hundreds who have been funded by the Student Engagement Network to not only explore their interests and develop new skills, but also pursue their passions and life-long dreams.

The summer 2019 grant application will close at 11:59 p.m. (EST) on March 15. Funding is limited, therefore, those who submit detailed applications are more likely to be awarded.

Additional details about the grant program, including eligibility, requirements, and information about how to prepare a competitive application, can be found at

The Student Engagement Network is a joint initiative between Undergraduate Education, Student Affairs, and Outreach and Online Education. The mission of the Student Engagement Network is to advance the power of participation by connecting students with experiences that empower them to make a positive impact as citizens and leaders of the world.

For more information about the Student Engagement Network, visit or email

Last Updated May 08, 2019