Epic Advantage Independent Student Experiences Budget Guidelines

Everything you need to know to budget for your Epic Advantage internship or other independent student experience.

The Epic Advantage Program allows students to receive funding for a single (1) career-discerning activity during their time at Earlham. Students who elect to utilize the funding for an Independent Student Experience are required to develop and submit a budget that reflects actual expenses associated with completing the career-discerning experience. Budgets will be reviewed as part of the overall application by the Center for Global and Career Education.


The approved funding will be dispersed to students in the form of a Non-Service Fellowship Award.  

  • Please note that this non-service fellowship award is taxable income. The amount of the award will be reported to you and to the IRS at the end of the calendar year on a form 1099-MISC for domestic students or on a form 1042-S for international students. It will be your responsibility to include this income on your state and federal individual tax returns and to pay any additional taxes owed at the time you file your returns. For international students, we may be required to withhold 14% of your total award amount for federal income taxes, depending on the your specific situation and tax treaty.  We are unable to withhold any Indiana state income tax, so you should consider saving 4.8% of your award to cover that cost when you file your state tax return.


After funding has been approved, students will be required to set up direct deposit information with the College’s partner Paymerang (if you have never before set it up).  

  • If you have previously set up this process for student employment or other awards, you will not need to do it again, though it is the student’s responsibility to ensure all banking and contact information is up to date. If you have questions about a previously created account, please direct them to Mary Scott (scottma@earlham.edu).
  • If you have not yet set up a Paymerang account, you will receive an email from Paymerang, initiated by the Accounting Office, asking you to verify and complete your account setup. It is important that you follow these steps within 24 hours of receiving the email.
    • You will need access to a US mobile (cell phone) number to complete the account setup  If you do not have one, we recommend using the cell phone number of a trusted friend.
    • It is important that you follow these steps within 24 hours of receiving the email.
  • Please note that you will need to have a United States-based bank account to utilize this service.


Award amounts will be dispersed to you via direct deposit.  

  • If the College is making any purchases on your behalf, they will be deducted from the total award amount and you will receive the remainder. (The most common example is the third-party provider fee for a virtual internship.) The full amount of the award, however, will still be reported as taxable income.
  • Deposits are made by the College on Thursdays only. To meet the deadline for a dispersal, all of your post-acceptance documents in the online application must be signed by Wednesday of the previous week. In addition, you must set up your Paymerang account within 24 hours of notification from the EARLHAM Finance Office. Delays in either step will delay the arrival of your deposit by an additional week.


The maximum award amount is $5000.00, though some experiences (e.g., virtual internships) will not require the full amount of funding due to the reduced costs associated with completing the internship.  

  • The most common and largest expense for completing a remote internship will likely be the fee paid to a third-party provider that helps students identify remote internships such as Campus B, CEA Virtual Internships, Connect 123, etc. 
  • See the full listing of allowable expenses and their conditions in the second table below.


A savings goal can be requested as part of the total budget only for internships that occur during winter and summer breaks (i.e. are not conducted during an academic term when financial aid is available, due to implications with financial aid policies).

  • A savings goal can be requested at the rate of $250.00/week, with a maximum request of $2000.00
  • To be eligible, the experience must include at least 4 weeks and at least 30 hours per week.
  • A savings goal cannot be requested for a funded non-internship experience.


Length (assuming 30+ hours per week) Savings goal amount
4 1000.00
5 1250.00
6 1500.00
7 1750.00
8+ (max savings goal) 2000.00


Please review the following lists of allowable expenses before submitting your request for funding.


Allowable Expense Term
Third-Party Provider Fee (required to participate in experience) All
Earlham College Housing Fee Summer
Housing for experiences outside of your home city Winter, Summer
Meals and Incidentals* Winter, Summer
Round-Trip Transportation to/from Experience Site, for In-Person Experiences Winter, Summer
Local Transportation, including necessary transportation (e.g., to get groceries) for all experiences,
plus daily commuting for in-person experiences (e.g., bus pass, bike rental)
Internet Service Fee (only as needed specifically for the experience) Winter, Summer
Communication Platform Service Fee (Skype or similar, only as required) All
Utilities such as electricity, gas, water/sewer, for the period of the activity only Winter, Summer
Medical expenses, up to $20 per month of activity Winter, Summer
Maximum $250 Allowance for Professional Attire, Internships only All
Earlham College Credit Overload, for the Epic 481 course, Internships only All
Savings Goal, Internships Only Winter, Summer
Passport, visa, work permit, International Only Winter, Summer
Required immunizations or medical prophylaxis, International Only Winter, Summer
Foreign currency exchange fee charged for using US dollars abroad, only in locations that do
not use the dollar
Winter, Summer
Allowance to Cover Federal and State Tax Liabilities (17.23% of subtotal of the above) All

*Meals and Incidentals (e.g., laundry) are budgeted as follows: 25% of the established federal per diem amount for the experience location. The Epic Advantage Experiences Budget template will help you to locate the base amount and will calculate this line for you.



  1. The Epic Advantage funds one (1) career-discerning experience per student. Proposals that combine multiple experiences will not be accepted.
  2. Epic Advantage funding may not be used for any political campaign, or to support attempts to influence legislation by any governmental body, other than through making available the results of nonpartisan analysis, study or research.
  3. Epic Advantage funding may not be used to purchase any material goods with value that extends beyond the experience itself (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, etc.). Expendable supplies required for the experience and not provided by the employer or experience provider are allowable.
  4. Epic Advantage funding must be used prior to graduation from the College. We are unable to make exceptions for legal and liability reasons.
  5. Epic Advantage funding for services such as Internet service fees will cover the experience time period only.
  6. Epic Advantage funding supports the best-cost option for reasonable travel accommodations. For example, for round-trip flights, funding is provided for general/coach tickets; upgrades are not allowable expenses. In addition, for local transportation, awardees are expected to use the lowest-cost reasonable option (e.g., bus or street car) instead of costlier options (e.g., taking Uber for every trip to and from the experience site in any situation in which reasonable lower-cost options are available).
  7. The total award may not exceed $5000, even if that means that students may not claim all allowable expenses listed above, or cannot claim all or part of the savings goal.