Merit Scholar FAQ
What types of experiences qualify for my stipend?
Your scholar stipend can be applied to a range of non-credit bearing, unpaid out-of-class learning experiences including internships, research, student-faculty collaborations, professional development activities and community service endeavors. NOTE: You may not use your stipend to travel to any country presently on the U.S. State Department Government Warning List.
What are the requirements to access my stipend?
Meet with the Stipend Coordinator to review and complete paperwork; your GPA must be 3.0 when applying for the scholar stipend; you must be in good academic and social standing; you must sign an agreement that you are returning to Wheaton as a student the semester following your experience. In addition, you are required to attend a pre-departure orientation prior to leaving campus in May.
Can I use my stipend to do independent research?
Independent research is allowable with the support of a Wheaton faculty member (via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org) and must pertain to your field of studies or thesis development. The faculty member must be willing to submit a report of your progress in this research.
When can I access my stipend?
You are eligible to access to your merit scholar stipend for an out-of-classroom learning experience in the summer after your sophomore or junior year. You may not access your stipend after your first or senior year.
What other summer funding opportunities exist for me as a first year student?
First year students are eligible to apply to the Wheaton Fellows Program. Selected recipients receive a $3000 stipend to complete a range of summer out-of-classroom learning experiences. First year students are eligible to apply since they are not yet eligible to access their Scholar stipend.
Can I use my stipend for travel?
Your stipend is to be used for an out-of-classroom experience and as such may not be used solely for travel purposes.
What if I need help exploring my out-of-class experience options?
The staff at the Filene Center is eager to talk with you about all your options for out-of-class learning experiences. Please phone us at 508-286-8215 to arrange a time to meet with one of the staff members.
Do I have the option of applying for other funds to combine with my Scholar Award?
If you have funds available to you through the merit scholar program you must use those funds before you can be considered for other funding.
How many hours do I have to work at my site?
At least 240 hours must be worked in order to receive your stipend. This requirement can be fulfilled in 4 -12 weeks depending on your work schedule. Also, you have the option of working at multiple sites in order to complete 240 hours.
My internship is unpaid, but I am going to receive a travel stipend from the site?
This is considered a non-paying internship as long as the stipend is not more than $50.00 a week.
What paperwork is required to obtain my stipend?
Liability Form: May be accessed on the scholar website
Intent to Access Forms: May be accessed on the scholar website
Once you have completed the above two forms, please email Judi Razee, Stipend Coordinator (email@example.com) to make an appointment to finalize the paperwork and sign an agreement that you understand all the requirements of accessing your stipend. Your ability to meet deadlines will ensure prompt payment of your stipend. If you fail to meet all deadlines or follow stipulations of the program, the College reserves the right to deny you access to your stipend.
When do I get paid?
If you meet the April 23rd deadline, you will receive a direct deposit during the first week of June. Paperwork received after that date, but before June 30th, will need to be reviewed with the Stipend Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org. You will not receive your stipend the first week of June but later in the summer if this is the case.
What is the final date that I can access my scholar stipend?
No paperwork will be accepted after June 30th.
What are the requirements when I have completed the internship?
You must complete a reflection essay by August 30th and share your experience with the Wheaton Community by participating in the Internship Showcase in November. If you are going abroad in the fall, you will be expected to produce a poster showcasing your internship to the Filene Center before going abroad.
I want to do a volunteer opportunity with an organization such as Cultural Solutions which requires a deposit. Can I get my stipend early?
No, you must fund this deposit out of your own pocket until you are able to access your stipend. The earliest date you can access your stipend is the first week of June. In some cases you may be working before you can access your stipend. Please keep this in mind when making your plans - you may need to start saving now!