Academics

Alma Venture Program Policies

The Alma Venture will enable Alma College students to pursue meaningful applied learning experiences that combine their academic, personal, and professional goals, add new perspective to their liberal arts education, and contribute to their success after Alma.

Student Eligibility                                               

Registered Alma College students who enrolled in Fall 2013 or later as first-year students - or transferred in prior to their junior year - are eligible to apply for Alma Venture funding. To be eligible for Venture funds, students must:

  • Have completed at least two full semesters (not counting Spring Term) at Alma College, and at least 56 credits, by the time the experience is scheduled to begin
  • Have declared a major
  • Be in good academic standing (GPA > 2.0)
  • Be in good financial standing (< $1,000 outstanding on student account)
  • Return to Alma College the semester following the Alma Venture experience (except those who graduate or receive a waiver from the Venture Committee)

Students will not generally be eligible to receive Alma Venture funds for experiences taking place after graduation. Graduating seniors may submit a petition to the Venture Committee if they wish to apply for Venture support for a credit-bearing Alma College course taken the spring term following graduation.

Experience Eligibility

Clinical experiences, internships, off-campus study programs approved by the Off-Campus Study Committee, research experiences and other applied experiences may be eligible for Venture if:

  • The experiences consist of a minimum of 150 hours of experiential learning in the internship, field, laboratory or international setting, and
  • Students can demonstrate a connection to their academic, personal, and/or professional goals and explain the professional skills and attributes that they expect to develop through the experience.
Proposal and Budget

Once students have secured the opportunity for which they wish to use Venture funds, they may submit an application including a Venture proposal and budget at www.alma.edu/venture. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis, with approval determined by a committee composed of Alma College faculty and staff.

Venture-eligible expenses, which may be included in the budget submitted with a Venture proposal, include:

  • Travel to and from the site of a non-local Venture experience
  • Mandatory program fees (excluding Alma tuition) for an Alma-led off-campus study program (e.g. Spring Term course)
  • Mandatory program fees and host program tuition for an Alma-approved off-campus study program (approved programs are listed on the Off-Campus Study Programs web page)
  • Passport, visa fees, and immunizations
  • Reimbursement of reasonable living expenses (food, lodging, and local travel). Note that on-campus room and board during the academic year, including spring term, are not eligible.
  • Other expenses may be requested and explained in the Venture proposal. Note that special materials purchased with Venture funds will remain the property of Alma College unless the Venture Committee approves a written request from the applicant to keep the item(s).
Venture Program Components

Once approved for an Alma Venture, participants are responsible for completing all of the required components of the Alma Venture, including:

  • Completion of a Venture Preparation Series
  • Attendance at a Pre-departure Orientation (for all international and some U.S.-based experiences)
  • Completion of a mid-term survey and end-of-experience reflection
  • Sharing the completed experience with the campus community through a video, presentation, blog, poster or performance
Amount of the Award

Most students are eligible for up to $2,500 to offset eligible costs associated with their Venture experience. Students will only be awarded one Alma Venture, even if they do not use the full amount available.

Students who wish to apply for Alma College funds for applied learning experiences before completing 56 credits may apply through the following programs, when program-specific criteria are met: Posey Global, Gazmararian, Currie Scholars, Spring Term Grant, Yehle Internship, and Walser Global Scholarship. The amount of these Venture-impacting awards already received will be deducted from total Venture funds for which the student is eligible. Recipients of these awards may apply for any remaining Venture funds once they meet the Venture eligibility criteria listed above (e.g. the recipient of a $500 Spring Term Grant would later be eligible for up to $2,000 in Venture funds once Venture-eligible).

Venture Awards cannot be combined, for the same applied experience, with other Venture-impacting funds, such as the Posey Global, Gazmararian, Yehle, Currie, Walser, or the Spring Term Grant.  

Note for recipients of tuition exchanges and employee benefit awards: students receiving tuition exchange and employee benefit awards may apply for an Alma Venture up to a maximum of $1,000, subject to the same conditions as above.

 **tuition exchange refers to a program used by only a few individuals whose parents work at a college participating in an exchange agreement with Alma College.

Fund Allocation and Accountability

In the event that a student does not comply with the conditions listed under “Amount of the Award,” (above) or fails to complete all required components of the Alma Venture, as specified below under “Venture Program Components,” the college reserves the right to revoke some or all of the Venture award in the form of a charge to the student’s Alma College account.

In the event that a Venture recipient must change or cancel a planned Venture experience after Venture funds have been expended by the College on their behalf, any non-recoverable funds will be deducted from that student’s total eligible award, and the student may apply for any remaining Venture funds in a future Venture proposal.

Students who are approved to receive Venture Program funds may receive these funds in any of the following ways:

1. Apply to Alma Student Account (for Spring Term or Off-Campus Study)

When offsetting expenses invoiced through Alma College for spring term course fees and approved Off-Campus Study, Venture funds will be applied directly to the cost of the program. In the case of a Spring Term course, this will be reported to the faculty leading the trip. The student will be responsible for paying the remaining balance of the required fees in accordance with the faculty leader’s installment schedule (for spring term) or the Alma College billing cycle (for off-campus study). The award will be posted to the student account at the beginning of the experience term.

2. Request an Advance or Reimbursement (you must provide receipts for approved expenses)

The Venture recipient may request an advance by filling out the Request for Payment form found at www.alma.edu/offices/financial-services/for-students/ and submitting it to the Venture office in the CSO. Students using this method will be required to submit a Travel Expense Report with receipts supporting the amount of the advance to the Financial Services Office at the conclusion of their experience. Students will be required to return any funds that are unused or unsupported by receipts. Any unused amount that is not returned may be charged to the student’s Alma College account.

The recipient may pay all expenses directly and then request a reimbursement of the full Venture amount by submitting a Travel Expense Report, along with the receipts for claimed expenses. This form can be found at www.alma.edu/offices/financial-services/for-students/ and submitted to the Venture office in the CSO. Note that under College policy, airfare cannot be reimbursed until after the flight has taken place.

3. Submit an invoice for payment by Alma College (e.g. airfare)

The Venture recipient may request that the purchasing department arrange payment directly for airfare or other large expenses in advance of the Venture experience. The student can work with the Purchasing clerk Sara Killingsworth in Financial Services (Hamilton LL) for travel arrangements and/or to purchase supplies needed for their Venture experience. Recipients may also request that Financial Services pay an invoice directly. To request payment of a Venture-related invoice, submit the invoice to Accounts Payable in Financial Services with the Request for Payment form, which can be found at www.alma.edu/offices/financial-services/for-students/.

4. Request an award as a stipend (for unpaid internships with non-profit organizations and unpaid, on-campus research)

For off-campus research or internships, the full award may be issued in the form of a check directly to the recipient. This will be considered taxable income and may have tax implications for the recipient. The Venture recipient may request a stipend by filling out the Request for Payment form found at www.alma.edu/offices/financial-services/for-students/ and submitting it to the Venture office in the CSO.

For on-campus research or internships, the award will be processed through Alma College payroll. Payroll taxes will be deducted from the award amount.

Financial Aid and Income Tax

Venture funds may have tax consequences. Students are advised to seek tax advice on this matter from a tax professional or at the following resource page: https://www.irs.gov/Advocate/.   In addition, Venture funds may affect eligibility for Federal Work Study and/or loans. Students are advised to meet with Financial Aid to seek advice on this matter.