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Off-Campus Opportunity Fund (OCOF)
Program Terms: Spring Break,
Program Dates &
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Restrictions: CU applicants only
Program Description:
Genesis Miranda Soto, OCOF Recipient to Ecuador

OCOF Overview

The Off-Campus Opportunities Fund (OCOF) is a common application for students seeking financial support for off-campus experiences.  OCOF is predominantly for short-term programs when financial aid is less available. The fund consolidates the application and awarding process of four previously distinct grants offered through the following central units:

  • Cornell Abroad: Global Encounters Scholarship
  • Engaged Cornell: Community-Engaged Student Travel Grant Program
  • Global Cornell: Undergraduate Student Travel Grants
  • Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI): Student Individuals Funding Sponsorship
Cornell Commitment is coordinating closely with the units listed above and encourages students participating in Commitment programs (Tradition, Meinig, Rawlings) to talk with their Program Director for guidance on using their support account as well as considering the OCOF opportunities.  Please see the Commitment website for deadlines and information.

Students are asked to submit an online application, in which they identify the grants they are eligible to apply for (according to eligibility criteria displayed below.  The initiative increases access to information and simplifies the application process for students, while allocating funding in a more efficient, inclusive and equitable way.

Interested applicants should carefully review the following eligibility details for each award before starting an application. 


Eligibility Criteria 

Cornell Abroad: Global Encounters Scholarship

“Global Encounters” Scholarships of up to $ 500 per student to offset additional costs of participating in Cornell courses with an international travel component.
  • Full-time, registered Cornell undergraduate in good academic standing
  • Demonstrate financial need consistent with university aid policies
  • Be enrolled in an eligible semester-based program (see criteria below)
Eligible programs:  Credit-bearing Cornell University courses taught in Ithaca during Fall or Spring semester that feature an international travel component as an integral part of the syllabus.
Eligible costs: Program-related costs, except for air fare from the US to the program destination.   
All awards will be processed through the students Cornell Bursar account. No cash awards will be made. 



Engaged Cornell: Community-Engaged Student Travel Grant Program

Grants typically not to exceed $750 per individual to support students participating in service-learning and/or community-based research activities domestically or internationally.  The goal of the program is to make engaged learning experiences financially accessible for students across the university and to help ensure that the cohort of participants in engaged learning experiences more fully represent the diversity at Cornell.  

Grant funds are available to full-time, registered undergraduate and graduate Cornell University students. Students are limited to one community engagement grant per semester. Students in their final semester of school are not eligible to apply for funds. Students may not receive funds to support community engagement taking place after their graduation from Cornell.

Additional Details:
The Community-Engaged Student Travel Grant (CESTG) program  seeks to promote the quality of the engaged learning experiences it funds by facilitating trip preparation, critical reflection, and knowledge retention in order to assist students in their academic, personal, and professional development. Through CESTG, Engaged Cornell supports students who seek to apply their unique skills to make substantive contributions to communities, while practicing critical              
reflection to understand the complex issues surrounding service-learning and public engagement. The program encourages students to integrate lessons learned from their engaged learning experiences into their curricular and co-curricular lives at Cornell.

In addition to benefiting individual students funded by the Community-Engaged Student Travel Grant, Engaged Cornell also seeks to benefit others by facilitating the dissemination of knowledge about high-quality community engagement within and outside the broader Cornell community. Toward this end, each grant recipient is required to submit a final report, photographs, and social media posts to Engaged Cornell to be disseminated publicly and shared with funders.


Global Cornell: Undergraduate Student Travel Grants

  • This opportunity is available to full-time, registered undergraduates from all of Cornell’s colleges, and funding is available to those with financial need
  • Funding is available for formal curricular, for-credit, international experiences
  • Students are not eligible to apply for funds to be used during their final semester or during the summer term following their final year
  • Students who have received funding from other sources for their international travel are not eligible for duplicate funding 
  • Sponsorship covers international airfare costs only
Additional Details:
Global Cornell (in conjunction with Cornell Abroad) provides sponsorship to undergraduate students to support international travel associated with the course of study the student has undertaken.  The goal of the grants is to make international experiences financially accessible to all students across the University. 

Global Cornell seeks to share student experiences with a wide audience in order to disseminate information on international opportunities to other students, parents, and alumni. Each grant recipient will have the opportunity to submit photographs to an annual competition, for public dissemination. We will also seek contributions for stories for our websites and other publications.


Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI)

The Office of Academic Diversity Initiatives (OADI) at Cornell University provides sponsorship to undergraduate students to support participation in events, programs, and initiatives that specifically address the academic and professional development of funding recipients. Sponsorship covers off-campus items such as conference expenses (registration, transportation, meals, accommodations), and costs affiliated with internships, externships, research experiences, and community-based and service learning opportunities.

  • This opportunity is available to active members of OADI programs, including the Pre-Professional Programs (P3), OADI’s Student Opportunity Programs (HEOP/EOP and POSSE), McNair Scholars Program, OADI Research Scholars Program, OADI First in Class Mobilizers, and the Gates Millennium Scholars Program. 
  • Applications may also be considered from students who are not yet officially participating in these programs but who are generally active with OADI and who need assistance with activities, programs or fields in which they are underrepresented. Students who are “generally active” have utilized OADI’s resources/services or attended our general events at least five times in the past six months.
  • Students may only receive OADI funding once every twelve months. If you received OADI funding within the past twelve months, please consult the funding application deadlines below for assistance in determining when you will be eligible again. You may also reach for referrals to different funding sources.
Nicholas Karavolias, OCOF recipient to India


What is the selection criteria used?

Eligible applicants must submit a complete application to be considered by our review committee.  Following the deadline completed applications will be reviewed and decisions made based on the student's financial need (drawn from both the student's financial aid records as well as details provided in the application) and the merit of the application and proposed project or international experience.  

What is the average award amount?  

Typically, the combined total award amount for a successful applicant is in the range of $500 to $2000.  Some students, despite completing the full OCOF application, may not actually be eligible for funding or may qualify for a smaller award of approximately $250 - $500. The total allotment to be awarded for a given cycle is dependent on the budgets of each of the four funding units that have been set aside for OCOF.  Awards from Cornell Abroad are typically no more than $500 and Engaged Cornell typically does not award more than $750. Awards from Global Cornell vary and are based on the cost of airfare for the student's international experience.  


I missed the deadline, can I still apply? 

To be fair to all other applicants, OCOF does not accept late applications.  This is also true for incomplete applications after the deadline.  All applications must be submitted fully complete by the time of the deadline (which will be posted below when we are accepting applications). 


How do I receive the money if I receive an OCOF award? 

After notification of having received an award, you will be requested to confirm that you are participating in your program of study abroad and would like to accept the funds.  Once we receive your confirmation, funds will be transferred directly to your Bursar Account in approximately 2-3 weeks.  Some delays may occur if there are any change in places to your proposed experience abroad.


Who should I contact with questions? 

For general inquiries, please send a message to  


Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Approx. Start Approx. End
Winter 2017 10/10/2016
Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Spring Break 2017 01/15/2017 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA
Summer 2017 03/01/2017 ** Rolling Admission TBA TBA

** Programs may fill long before their final deadline. * Recommendation--For SPRING: APPLY in MAY to study abroad the following spring. For FALL/YEAR: APPLY in DECEMBER. Late applications may be accepted, but colleges typically need time to process your approval.

Indicates that deadline has passed. See CUAbroad.