FAQ

Can I meet with a Summer Funding adviser to talk about summer plans?

 

Fall Semester only - The Summer Funding team will start having 30-minute one-on-one appointments in October 2019 – until then, please attend a general drop-in with any OCS adviser Monday-Friday, 1-4pm. NOTE: Students must attend at least a drop-in appointment to schedule a longer appointment.

How to schedule an appointment:

  1. Log in to Crimson Careers
  2. On the right-hand panel of the page, scroll down and click "Schedule an Advising Appointment"
  3. Under "Type" select “Advising Appointment” Select “Summer Planning & Funding Advising (College).”
  4. Click the "Check Availability" button

You can select a date and time that works for you, up to one month ahead of time. You cannot schedule an appointment less than 24 hours ahead of time.

What are some other sources of funding?

OCS is one of many funding sources:

  • CARAT - Each listing in this database contains contact information, so if you see something relevant that has passed or hasn’t been updated for 2020 you can reach out to the contact for more information.
  • Any related Harvard center or academic department may have resources; for example, if you are traveling to Japan, check out the Reischauer Institute for Japanese Studies website for potential funding. See the funding charts in the Navigating Summer Opportunities guide
  • The Financial Aid Office has a compilation of non-Harvard funding sources.
  • The Student Employment Office has a list of internships, part-time jobs, and research assistantships with Harvard faculty.

 

Additionally, students on financial aid have the option of taking out interest-free loans to help finance Harvard Summer School in Cambridge or study abroad (for credit only).

 

Eligibility & Funding Questions

I’m not a Harvard student, am I eligible for funding?

We are only able to fund current Harvard undergraduates in good academic standing and who are not currently or planning on taking a leave of absence. Each program has further eligibility requirements. 

Do you have funding for opportunities during winter break?

Due to the limited amount of funding, we only have funding for the following programs:

  • Harvardwood (students on financial aid only)
  • Arts and Museums Internship

We suggest looking through CARAT to see what’s available and viewing the funding charts in Navigating Summer Opportunities which includes information about winter break funding.

Do you have funding for opportunities during term-time?

We can only fund summer-time, mostly 8-week opportunities. We suggest looking through CARAT to see what’s available, reach out to any relevant academic departments to see if they have any resources or suggestions, or look into non-Harvard sources of funding.

Can I still apply for funding after the OCS funding deadline?

We are unable to accept late funding applications, and suggest searching CARAT for any funding sources whose deadlines have not yet passed. Many other Harvard Centers have later funding deadlines.

Please see the question on other sources of funding at Harvard.

Do you offer funding for thesis research?

We do not offer funding for thesis research – please refer to Undergraduate Research and Fellowships and to your academic department for research funding. 

Do you offer funding for undergraduate research in a U.S.-based lab during the summer?

We do not offer funding research in the U.S. – please refer to Undergraduate Research and Fellowships and to your academic department for research funding.

 

Do you offer funding for U.S.-based internships during the summer?

Our domestic funds are for public service opportunities offered by our partners, such as the Phillips Brooks House Association Summer Urban Program (Cambridge, Boston) and the Presidential Public Service Fellowship (various locations).

Do you offer funding resources for visas, vaccinations, or other travel-related costs?

OCS funds are meant to cover program fees or the cost of living (food, local travel, etc) for independent internships.  Students on financial aid will also receive a travel stipend. As with any international travel, please expect additional costs as you plan for your trip.

Please visit Global Support Services’ Visa and Passport Services page for travel document resources.  Students on financial aid may inquire about receiving an additional funding for visa costs.

 

 

Application Questions

How do I apply for OCS funding in CARAT?

For Harvard Summer School Study Abroad, Non-Harvard Summer School Study Abroad, independent internships, and volunteer programs, you will need to apply to the program AND funding separately. Please read the “How to Apply” sections on our website for each opportunity you’re interested in.  Direct links to the applications you need are listed on each section of our website.

For students who have been admitted to a program with a Harvard Center (domestic or international), or a non-Harvard study abroad program, you will be automatically considered for funding and will receive further instructions – you do not need to apply for funding when you apply to the program.

What should be included in a recommendation letter?

OCS requires letters to come from a member of the Harvard community who is not a peer. Professors, TFs, preceptors, proctors, tutors, on-campus work supervisors, and academic advisers can all be good people to ask for letters. Think about who in the Harvard community can speak to your strengths for a particular program.  For example, if you are applying for a summer life sciences research program, a TF or professor from LPSA, LS1A, or LS50 could be a very good person to ask to recommend you.

What if I’m having trouble uploading my application to CARAT?:

If you’re having trouble uploading a PDF to CARAT, first send an email to HUIT at ithelp@harvard.edu as they service the platform. If it is close to the deadline and you will not be able to submit your application on CARAT in time, send your application materials to ocs_summerfunding@fas.harvard.edu.

Direct Deposit Questions

How do I enroll or know if I’ve been enrolled in direct deposit?

Students enroll in direct deposit through my.harvard. Follow the Financial Aid Office’s instructions here. Make sure you double-check that the routing and account numbers are correct to avoid bounced funds.

To check if you’ve already been enrolled, go to the “Student Accounts” tab in my.harvard.  If you’re already enrolled, it should say “Complete” under “Refund Direct Deposit.” You can update your bank account information if you wish.

How do I show proof of enrollment in direct deposit?:

Take a screenshot of your window with the confirmation that you’ve enrolled in direct deposit (it should have the name of the account holder, the name of the bank, and usually the last four digits of your account). Save it as a PDF and upload it to your application in CARAT.

Funding Questions: What if I’ve had a change in financial aid status?

Award amounts are based on students’ current financial aid level (for the 2019-2020 academic year) as determined by the Financial Aid Office. Please reach out to the FAO to discuss your particular situation if you believe that your current financial aid level is not an accurate picture of your financial situation. They can be reached at 617-495-1581 or you can submit an inquiry on their website here.

 

How will I receive my OCS funds?

For Harvard Summer School:

If you are on financial aid, OCS will send the program fee amount directly to Harvard Summer School. If you will be receiving additional food and travel stipends from OCS, the funds will be awarded via direct deposit starting in April, so be sure to check your bank statements for the award. If you are not on financial aid, the $1,500 you receive will be sent to directly to Harvard Summer School to go toward your program fee.

For all other funding categories:

Funds will be awarded via direct deposit to your bank account, so be sure to check your bank statements for the award. However, international students who are participating in domestic public service programs will receive a check, rather than a direct deposit.

See “Direct Deposit” section for instructions on how to enroll.

When will I receive my OCS funds?

OCS cannot release funds until all the health and safety requirements have been completed and approved by the Office of International Education, in addition to any other requirements (i.e. proof of acceptance into a program/internship). You should start completing and submitting your predeparture requirements immediately upon accepting your funding.

The verification process can take 3-6 weeks after you accept your award, and it may take an additional 1-2 weeks to receive your funding depending on your bank’s processing timeline. Students usually receive funds in April and early May.

What should I do if my program fee is due and I haven’t received funding yet?

We advise you to contact your program to request a payment extension. Most programs are willing to accommodate Harvard students in this regard. You may forward them a copy of your award letter for reference and let them know that you will receive the funding shortly.

Harvard Summer School: If you receive funding (from OCS or other Harvard sources) to cover the program fee, the award will be posted to your student account, and you are not required to make a deposit.

What if my summer plans change?

Please inform your program/organization/host about any changes and any funding sources as soon as possible. If you are receiving funding from OCS, you must notify our office of any changes in your summer plans.

 

Pre-Departure Requirement Questions

What pre-departure requirements do I have to do?

Please see the “Next Steps: After You Accept OCS Funding” page for health and safety requirements, which need to be completed in order for us to disburse your funds.

You will receive updates from the Office of International Education them as these items are marked complete in their system. If you have questions regarding the status of these requirements, you may contact the OIE at oie@fas.harvard.edu.

I already completed all of my predeparture requirements, but I still got an email saying I’m missing something.

If you completed and submitted your predeparture requirements shortly before you received the email from OIE, this is due to a lag in the processing time in the system. Please allow a few days for the requirements to be updated in the system.

If you continue to receive notifications and it has been more than three weeks after submitting your predeparture requirements, please contact OIE at oie@fas.harvard.edu and copy our office on the message (ocs_summerfunding@fas.harvard.edu).   

I’ve submitted all my requirements, but haven’t received my funds yet. Am I missing anything?

If it has been more than four weeks after submitting your predeparture requirements, please contact OIE at oie@fas.harvard.edu and copy our office on the message (ocs_summerfunding@fas.harvard.edu).  

I’ve been cleared for travel from OIE, how long will it take to receive my funds?

Depending on your bank’s processing timeline, it may take up to a week to receive your funds after you’ve been cleared for travel.

You MUST be enrolled in direct deposit to receive your funds, and make sure your bank account and routing numbers are accurate to avoid any delays in disbursements.

Can I get course credit for internships?

Harvard does not offer internship credit. Please follow the instructions from this page here to request a waiver from OCS to send to your employer/organization to waive this requirement.

How does insurance work while abroad?

Please see Global Support Services’ page on 4 common insurance policies for international work and travel.

Health insurance: Please consult with your health care provider about international coverage options and networks – you may need to purchase a short-term health care plan.

Evacuation insurance: Harvard automatically provides travelers with international emergency and evacuation insurance coverage through International SOS.  Harvard's international insurance will cover any medical or security care provided abroad for its travelers.  In the case of medical issues, when you call International SOS, they become your primary insurance.  If International SOS thinks you need to see a local provider, they make the appointment and usually make the payment.  If you have to pay out of pocket, they have a reimbursement process.

Travel insurance: International SOS is NOT travel insurance.  If you're looking for coverage for lost luggage, missed or canceled flights, etc., that is not covered through Harvard, this is an additional plan that should be purchased.

 

Do I need to report my award for tax purposes?

We are not able to answer tax questions, so please reach out to the Tax Services Office.