The Career Access Fund (CAF) provides financial support for expenses related to career exploration and preparation, professional development, academic or professional conferences, internship and job interviews, and graduate study preparation. Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the academic year and are based on financial need as well as the quality of the request.
Read below for more information about eligibility, covered expenses, and the application process.
Note that you must read the information below to access the link to the application, and that you must agree to and understand the rules around eligibility and covered expenses in order to move ahead with the application itself.
Applicants are eligible for up to $500 max each academic year based on need. Award amounts are granted based on whether a student is high, medium, or low need as determined by the Williams Financial Aid Office. If you are unsure of your need level, we recommend you apply for the full amount of what you need and expect to incur in expenses. If you are only eligible for the medium or low need tier, that will be reflected in your award amount and explained in your award letter.
Grants are based on actual expected expenses; they are not granted as lump sums.
The grant award tiers are as follows:
- High Need: up to $500 total over the academic year
- Medium Need: up to $375 total over the academic year
- Low Need: up to $200 total over the academic year
Currently, any students who do not receive financial aid from Williams are not eligible for Career Access Funds; however, there are other funded opportunities available through our office, and we encourage you to reach out to a career advisor to explore additional ways to pursue your career goals.
Career Access Fund grants are available to help cover expenses that include, but are not limited to:
- Travel/lodging for career-related trips
- Attendance to professional development workshops or academic conferences
- Professional development courses (e.g. Harvard CORe, programming bootcamps, etc.)*
*Please note for these expenses that applicants are expected to apply for fee reduction opportunities from the organization if available.
Please note that any tech hardware (e.g. cameras, phones, money towards a laptop, etc.) is not supported by CAF at this time.
For students requesting clothing, please note that CAF can only award funding for up to two outfits for specific upcoming opportunities where business attire is needed such as an upcoming interview, internship, presentation at a conference, or necessary networking event. Students requesting clothing will have to list specific details sharing when and for what purpose they need business attire.
Awards will be granted for the listed expenses only. Documentation that does not include detailed information about your proposed expenses, or an expense date that occurs in the past, may delay or disqualify your application.
Finally, CAF grants are awarded for future expenses. They will not cover reimbursements for expenses already incurred. All applicants will need to upload documentation (a quote, a screenshot, etc.) of proposed expenses to their application and list the date they expect to incur expenses. Applicants must also provide an itemized list showing the cost of each expense.
Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis every Wednesday by the review committee while funds are available. To apply, simply complete the CAF application form. Please note that you must submit supporting documentation for your expected expenses (such as quotes, screenshots of online shopping carts, etc.) in order to apply.
After your application is reviewed, you will be contacted via email regarding the status of your request and will be notified of any next steps if you have been awarded funds.
Currently, CAF funds are primarily paid out through Direct Deposit. Therefore, please ensure that you have completed the Direct Deposit Form in your PeopleSoft account.
Please contact Stephen Biegner, the ‘68 Center’s Operations & Funding Manager, with any questions about the application process.