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.
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)
Graduating students may apply for Venture funds as long as the experience will conclude by the end of the Spring Term of their graduating year.
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, with the exception of the circumstances outlined in the following paragraph.
Students who wish to access Venture funds 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. 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).
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
The award will be posted to the student’s Alma account and reflected on their 1098-T. In the event that a student does not complete all required components of the Alma Venture, as specified below, 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.
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 (signed by their academic advisor) and budget to the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Opportunity (CSO) for the Venture Program. Proposals will be reviewed, 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 tuition) for an Alma-led or Alma-approved off-campus study program
- Passport, visa fees, and immunizations
- Special materials (e.g. books, lab material, etc.) if 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).
- Reimbursement of living expenses (food, lodging, and local travel) at a rate of $35, $45 or $55 per day, depending on the cost of living at the Venture location. The rate of reimbursement will be determined by the Venture Committee in accordance with federal guidelines. Applicants requesting reimbursement of living expenses must submit a completed time sheet, indicating days and hours worked, signed by their experience supervisor, at the conclusion of their Venture experience.
Clinical experiences, internships, off-campus study programs approved by the Off-Campus Study Committee, and research experiences may be eligible for Venture if they:
- Consist of a minimum of 150 hours in the internship, field, laboratory or international setting
- Demonstrate the extensive development of at least four of the following analytic and professional skills:
- Project planning, including adjustment in response to feedback
- Data collection and analysis
- Independent responsibility, including ability to make professional judgments
- Supervisory responsibility
- Responsibility for interaction with public or other external constituencies
- Summarizing and disseminating results in written formats
- Summarizing and disseminating results orally or through performance
- Working with computational or information technologies
- Communications through new media technologies
- Intercultural communication
- Foreign language acquisition—immersion in a language other than English or the participants’ mother tongue, if other than English
- Creative endeavors relevant to the participants’ field of study
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, poster or performance
Financial Aid and Income Tax
Venture funds may have tax consequences. Students are advised to seek tax advice on this matter. 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.