Career Success - Career Accelerator Fund

Providing financial support for College of Arts and Sciences students participating in unpaid or minimally paid internships, undergraduate research or experiential learning opportunities.

Amount of award

Recipients, the number of recipients, and amount of support shall be determined in accordance with current guidelines and procedures. Any individual award will not exceed $5,000.

Submission Criteria:

Please Note:

  • The award cannot be used to cover expenses from opportunities completed in previous terms
  • The award cannot be used to cover expenses from opportunities that are already funded through another source such as STEP or scholarships or grants external to Ohio State
  • Full-time Ohio State employees are not eligible for the award
  • Students who received the award during a previous semester are not eligible to apply
  • Federal law prohibits students from receiving aid that exceeds the estimated cost of attendance as established by Student Financial Aid. It is your responsibility to contact Student Financial Aid if you are unsure of how the fund would affect your financial aid award package

Impact of the Fund

Career Accelerator Fund Recipient MadalynnMadalynn
Internship: Solomon Guggenheim Museum

The Career Accelerator fund was critical to me being able to do this internship. This internship helped me clarify my professional goals… I really found my niche in doing the actual research aspects of development.


Career Accelerator Fund Recipient LaurenLauren
InternshipProMusica & Wild Goose Creative

This funding enabled me to participate in both of these internships without worrying about needing to find another source of income. I also was able to learn more about the growing arts district of Columbus, connect with the community, and... experience more of Columbus overall.


Career Accelerator Fund Recipient GabiGabi
Internship: Chicago Children’s Theater

Before I did the internship, I really was only focused on teaching, and didn’t know what I wanted to do with my composition degree other than continue writing as much as I could. But this internship really opened my eyes to all the opportunities.

Career Accelerator Fund Types

Primary Fund

The application deadline has passed for Spring 2020.

Eligibility criteria:
To be eligible* for Career Accelerator Primary Fund, students must:

  • Be enrolled as a full-time student in classes at The Ohio State University Columbus campus as a Freshman, Sophomore or Junior at the time of application**
  • Have secured an unpaid or minimally paid*** internship, undergraduate research position, or experiential learning opportunity that takes place during the Spring 2020 or Summer 2020 semester
  • Have met with a Career Coach at least once prior to beginning their opportunity
  • Agree to share information about their opportunity with the Center for Career and Professional Success by participating in a brief reflection interview after the completion of their experience
  • Attend a reception with donors, Career Accelerator Fund administrators and other partners after the completion of their experience during the 20/21 academic year

* Students who have been placed on academic probation or special-action probation are not eligible for a CAF until removed from probation.
**The Selection Committee for the CAF will focus on what the student reports for their graduation term. So, if a student is showing as a senior in Handshake but lists on the application that their graduation term will be May 2021 or thereafter, they will be considered for a CAF award. 
*** Examples of minimally paid opportunities include those that pay below minimum wage or do not provide an hourly wage but do provide either or all of the following: a lunch allowance, a parking fees allowance, a public transportation pass, or a small stipend at the end of the internship.

Leadership Fund

The application deadline has passed for Spring 2020.

Eligibility criteria:
To be eligible* for Career Accelerator Leadership Fund, students must:

  • Must meet all eligibility criteria from the Primary Fund.
  • Preference will be given to students studying Biology, English, or Economics at the time of application
  • Recipients must demonstrate leadership on campus or in the community

* Students who have been placed on academic probation or special-action probation are not eligible for a CAF until removed from probation.

Application Resources

Schedule a Career Coaching appointment

To be considered for a CAF award you need to complete an appointment this semester with a Career Coach. Follow the steps below to obtain an appointment.

  1. Log into Handshake.
  2. IMPORTANT – These two steps are required to access appointment scheduling in Handshake:
    • Select and save your Academic Year (Freshman, Junior, etc.) next to your profile picture.
    • Select your college (Arts and Sciences) under the “Education” section.
  3. Click on the Career Center dropdown in the menu bar and select Appointments.
  4. To request a new appointment, click the Schedule a New Appointment button.
  5. Select the category and type of appointment you are interested in scheduling.
  6. Select a date and time that works for you.  You can also click on Staff Member at the top of your screen to see the availability of different staff members.
  7. Enter details about the appointment in the What can we help you with? section, then click Request at the bottom of your screen.
  8. You will be taken to the overview of the appointment where you can cancel the appointment or add comments before the appointment.
  9. Make sure that you check your notifications for updates on the status of your appointment.

Budget Worksheet

To document your financial need, please use the Career Accelerator Fund Budget Worksheet (Microsoft Excel File).  You’ll need to attach the completed worksheet to your application.  For guidelines on what can and cannot be included as expenses, please refer to the Career Accelerator Fund - Budget Guidelines. Please know that if you receive a CAF award, you will need to submit receipts for the various expenses you incur during the internship. That documentation will need to be submitted after your internship concludes. You’ll want to refer to these guidelines at the start of your internship so that you can plan ahead for organizing the receipts and other payment records to submit to Career Success.

Review our budget guidelines: Career Accelerator Fund (CAF) Budget Guidelines

Download our budget worksheet: Career Accelerator Fund - Budget Worksheet

Employment Verification

Career Success will need to verify that you have obtained your internship/learning opportunity.  Please share the attached form letter with your supervisor.  They can fill in the information about you, then email it to They will need to submit the letter before the January 27, 2020 application deadline.


For questions about the Career Accelerator Fund, please contact


Once you've gathered your application materials (see the application checklist), it's time to apply. 

The application period for Spring 2020 has passed. The application link will be posted here when the fund is available again.