Professional Experience Grants (PEGs)

Help defray the cost of BIG career experiences that bring the transferrable skills employers want!

Professional Experience Grants (PEGs) provide money for the big experiences that'll give you the transferrable skillset employers look for and build confidence in your life after college! While you're earning your degree, consider a professional career experience that'll help you practice what you've learned, navigate unfamiliar places, and build a network.

If the costs for these experiences are out of reach, apply for a PEG to defray some of the costs associated with travel, living expenses, and fees for conference attendance and presentations, creative performances, internships, study abroad, research, and other professional and career experiences.

Professional and career experiences include but are not limited to:

  • Faculty-mentored research, scholarship, and creative activities that allow students to enrich and enhance learning. These experiences produce proof of mastery in the discipline and position students to compete for professional positions and/or admission to graduate school.
  • Internships in the professional field are essential to open doors to professional employment.  Experiences in the work environment allow students the opportunity to apply what they are learning while building professional connections and competencies.
  • Travel experiences position students to embrace the increasingly complex and global society they will encounter upon graduation. Studying abroad, international internships, conference travel, and service learning projects expand cultural awareness and the capability of graduates to become contributing citizens.

All continuing full-time degree students planning to engage in a professional and career development experience are eligible to apply for a PEG. Students may be awarded one PEG per academic year. Students from Bloomsburg, use Scholarship Manager. Mansfield and Lock Haven students, apply here. Deadline for all PEGs is March 1 for summer and fall experiences, and October 1 for winter and spring experiences.

Preferred PEG Application Deadlines

  • Oct. 1 for winter and spring experiences
  • March 1 for summer and fall experiences

Getting Started

The PEG application process involves many components. To apply you must: complete an online application, upload a learning goals essay, upload a budget, upload a current resume, identify a faculty mentor, and request a letter of recommendation.

Students from Bloomsburg should use Scholarship Manager. The deadline for BU PEGS is March 1 for summer and fall experiences, and October 1 for winter and spring experiences. Mansfield and Lock Haven students Click here

PEGs will be awarded on this rubric.  Aim for 100% in your application!

 

How much will you need? How will you spend the money? You will need to create and submit a budget with your application. Luckily we have a model budget for you! All you have to do is save it and fill it in!

Why do you want to do have this experience? What do you hope to learn/accomplish? You'll need to submit a learning goals essay with your application using the learning goals worksheet that will help focus your thoughts.

You must select up to three learning goals and describe how each goal and the experience you are choosing align with the your academic/career plan. Keep the essay between 1000 and 1500 words. 

Need help? The Writing Center can assist!

Once you begin your application submission, you will be asked to submit the name and email of a professor that will advise you during your career experience and write a letter of recommendation for your PEG application.  It is a good idea to speak with your professor before beginning your application and have their name and email ready when you begin.

Resumes are harder than they look, and an up-to-date resume is required on your PEG application.

But there is good news! You can seek assistance from a career coach in the Office of Alumni & Professional Engagement or attend a resume lab via Zoom! Find both on Handshake.

When you are ready to submit:

  • Mansfield and Lock Haven students Click here
  • Bloom students, visit Scholarship Manager site and click "apply or log in". There is a timer, so after 45 minutes of inactivity, you will be logged out.  Have all your information handy and ready to go when you begin your application.

Once you are logged in, you should see all scholarships and grants for which you are eligible under "My Tasks". A PEG grant should be listed there:

Click on "Start Application" next to the "Professional Experience Grant" listing and follow the prompts. Enter all required information and upload all your completed documents.

When your application is successfully submitted, you will receive a confirmation email.

What if I missed the application deadline?
Funds for 2024 Summer and Fall experiences are limited, so you have the best chance of receiving a PEG if you submit by the preferred deadline of March 1 for summer and fall experiences and October 1 for winter and spring experiences. If your experience became available after the application deadline, please contact your Professional U Fellow (listed in the contact section below) to determine if a late application will get full consideration. You will need to provide a justification for the lateness of your application.

What if I am still waiting to receive a confirmation on my experience?
You can still apply, if your experience plans change please notify Amanda Kern, Financial Aid Office, at akern@commonwealthu.edu or 570-389-4439 for access to update your application.

Does the experience have to be for credit or required by my program?
Experiences do not need to be for credit or required by your program of study however they should be relevant to your career path.

Can I receive PEG funding for an experience that occurs after graduation?
No, you must be a current student to receive funding.

What if I am no longer going to complete my experience or my experience plans have changed?
Notify Amanda Kern, Financial Aid Office, at akern@commonwealthu.edu or 570-389-4439 to have your application updated or removed. Your award will be canceled and funds must be returned if you decide not to complete your experience.

Will the full cost of my experience be covered?
Funding is provided to reduce the financial burden of an experience not to cover the full cost. The award amount is determined based on the quality of the application and the type of experience.

Can my funds be released early?
Funding is typically disbursed the 2nd week of the semester in which the experience occurs. Summer funding is not available until the 2nd week of July due to the fiscal year. Any expenses due prior to the start of the semester must be paid out of pocket. (For internships with The Washington Center please see the Financial Aid office, due dates are often extended as part of the consortium agreement)

Can my funds be applied to study abroad program fees?
Program fees must be paid through the marketplace based on the payment schedule.

Can I get financial aid for my experience?
If your experience is for credit you may be eligible for financial aid, please contact the financial aid office as we may require additional information or a consortium agreement before your aid can be processed. If your experience requires a financial aid agreement to defer payment please bring any forms to the financial aid office to be completed.

Will my PEG award affect my financial aid package?
Possibly, there is a limit to the amount of financial aid a student is eligible to receive in a year called the cost of attendance. This includes tuition, fees, room, board, books, supplies, transportation, and personal expenses. The financial aid office may contact you for documentation of any extraordinary expenses due to the experience.

Can I appeal a decision?
Awards are final, and the PEG committee reviews each application thoroughly, taking all information provided into consideration.

What if I didn’t receive an award notification email by the notification date listed?
Please contact William Gower, BU Foundation, at wgower@bloomufdn.org or 570-389-5438.

I am a faculty/staff member in charge of an experience, how do I make sure my students get funding?
Each student will need to submit a PEG application by the due date. Award amounts may vary by student based on the quality of each student’s application.

I am a faculty/staff member and have been asked to submit a recommendation, where do I submit it?
You must follow the unique link that was emailed to you from buaid@bloomu.edu to upload your recommendation. If you need the link sent to you again please contact Amanda Kern, Financial Aid Office, at akern@commonwealthu.edu or 570-389-4439.

Group Professional Experience Grants, or GPEGs, partially fund faculty-led professional experiences for a group of five or more students. This grant supports experiences in which students learn and grow relevant skills which can include interacting with peers, alumni, employers, and other professionals related to career paths available to the major.

Examples of professional experience activities include:

  • attending an academic or professional conference (not required to be a presenter)
  • presenting a group research project,
  • competing, performing, or exhibiting as a group
  • experiences with career-related technology (excludes capital expenditures such as equipment, software, raw materials, etc.)
  • group cultural or immersive experience
  • inviting a speaker or hosting a residential professional to work with students

Preferential consideration is given to applicants who involve alumni and/or employers.

A GPEG is supplemental support and is not intended to cover all expenses related to the experience. Faculty are encouraged to apply for other grant funding via the department, college, and other available sources.

GPEG Application

A complete application includes:

  • Name and contact information for applicant(s)
  • Proposal Title
  • Significance of the project
  • Methodology including alumni and/or employers involved
  • Expected outcomes and relevance to professional development
  • A time frame and schedule of activities
  • Detailed budget
  • Estimated number of students participating
  • Evaluation and Assessment methods to be used
  • Supplemental materials such as contracts, resume of speaker, website addresses for site of the experience

All applications will be reviewed and approved by the department chair and dean prior to review by the GPEG Committee. GPEG committee consists of the Steven Jones Professional U Fellows and the AVP for Alumni and Professional Engagement

If awarded a GPEG the faculty member is responsible for:

  • Coordinating all travel within prescribed University Guidelines for Student and Employee Travel
  • Ensuring appropriate supervision and safety of students during the GPEG experience
  • Appropriate budgeting and expenditure of GPEG funding following all University Guidelines including submitting receipts to document expenses
  • A post-experience report of actual expenses, educational outcomes and reflection of professional growth experienced by participants as well as a list of students, alumni, and employers involved uploaded to Info Ready within one month of experience.
  • IRB Approval if applicable
Illustration of Mountain
Former Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf Shaking Hands with Bloomsburg student

"I think the grand total [for the internship] was around $5,000.00... I didn't know what I was going to do. The grant was a godsend; it really was."

Brandon Gill '22
Digital Forensics / Criminal Justice
Student, O'Neill posing for photo next to water

“Poland was an incredible experience. I learned there are so many cultures around the world and I have only experienced a small part of them.”

Cameron O'Neill '22
Philosophy / Spanish
Student sitting in grass

“I was so humbled when I learned that I would be receiving a Professional Experience Grant, because it afforded me the opportunity to move to Washington D.C. and spend the summer immersing myself in cultural experiences, while working for an incredible media relations company. This was an especially transformative time, that allowed me to rediscover my independence, and to grow as both a professional and a human being.”

Cayce Olander '23
Marketing/Technical Writing
Student, O'Neill posing for photo next to water
Student sitting in grass
Former Governor of Pennsylvania Tom Wolf Shaking Hands with Bloomsburg student

Professional U Fellows

Need to add: Christina Francis

Michael

Michael Huben

  • Instructor of Marketing and Professional Sales/ProfessionalU Fellow
  • Bloomsburg
CommonwealthU University Employee

Curt Dixon

  • Professor of Health Science
  • Lock Haven

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