We are pleased to have had the opportunity to use the 2018-2019 school year as a “pilot” year for the groundbreaking Alvarez Access Fund Program.

As a result, we were able to gain great insight to the needs of our international students. This past year also allowed us the opportunity to find ways to improve the overall application process and reception of funding. As we continue to provide a more streamlined process, we will also continue to provide sound advising and guidance for our students. We hope you continue to dream big with your endeavors!

Alvarez Grant Program

Alvarez Access Fund

The Alvarez Access Fund (Davidson login required) provides financial support to international students seeking assistance with cost-of-living expenses associated with career and curricular pursuits (e.g., unpaid/low-paying internships or research experiences, conferences, job shadowing, university/college campus visits, interviews, etc.), or needs related to academic success (e.g., class & material fees, etc.). Access grant amounts will rarely exceed $1000 and never exceed $2000.

Alvarez Guarantee Fund

Beginning with the class of 2023, the Alvarez Guarantee Fund (Davidson login required provides funding for two ($4,000) career experiences or programs that complement academic coursework for international students receiving financial aid from Davidson College.

What are examples of the types of expenses for which I can use the Alvarez Grant Program?

The Alvarez Grant Program funds must be used for curricular or career related experiences. Funds may support activities such as:

  • Costs associated with a campus visit of a prospective graduate school;
  • Housing, meals, and living costs during an unpaid internship in the student’s field of interest;
  • Support for a Davidson summer academic program, either domestically or abroad;
  • Travel to a job shadowing experience or interview;
  • Housing and living costs to live on campus while performing summer research in a laboratory;
  • Expenses (travel, lodging, food, registration) to attend an academic conference or job fair;
  • Course-related expenses which a student is not able to pay for (computers and other electronic devices generally excluded).
  • Application fees for graduate school and/or post-completion Optional Practical Training

Eligibility

The Alvarez Grant Program is only for non-U.S. resident students on F-1 visas and will not be offered to dual citizens (U.S. and another country) or U.S. citizens who are living abroad when they enroll at Davidson. Nor will it be made available to students on visa-types other than F-1.

The eligible international students mentioned above may apply for funding through the Alvarez Access Fund (Davidson login required), but students demonstrating significant financial need may receive priority. This grant seeks to fill funding gaps in applied curricular or career related experiences for international students.

Only students who receive financial aid from Davidson may apply for the Alvarez Guarantee Fund (Davidson login required) grant.

Both grants are on a first come, first serve basis and always based on availability of funding for a given fiscal year.

Requirements

All students interested in applying for the Alvarez Guarantee Fund are required to attend a one-time information/grant planning session during the school year before submitting a grant application in order to be considered. Students applying for the Alvarez Access fund are not required to attend an information session, but are invited to do so if they desire. All students are also required to complete a timely application (in its entirety), as well as submit items following their experience. Applications missing any documents and/or Statement of Support by the deadlines will not be considered.

Information & Grant Planning Sessions

Dates, Times & Locations (required only for students applying for the Alvarez Guarantee Fund):

October 2019

  • Wed., Oct. 23, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Sprinkle Room of Alvarez College Union

November 2019

  • Fri., Nov 8, 3-4 p.m., Sprinkle Room of Alvarez College Union
  • Tues., Nov. 12, 6-7 p.m., Spencer-Weinstein Center (light refreshments provided)

January 2020

  • Thurs., Jan. 23, 6-7 p.m., Spencer-Weinstein Center (light refreshments provided)

February 2020

  • Thurs., Feb. 13, 6-7 p.m., Spencer-Weinstein Center (light refreshments provided)
  • Tues., Feb 25, 3:30-4:30 p.m., Sprinkle Room of Alvarez College Union

March 2020

  • Tues., Mar. 10, 6-7 p.m., Spencer-Weinstein Center (light refreshments provided)

April 2020

  • Fri., Apr. 17, 3-4 p.m., Sprinkle Room of Alvarez College Union
  • Tues., Apr. 21, 6-7 p.m., Spencer-Weinstein Center (light refreshments provided)

Application Process

Both the Alvarez Access Fund and the Alvarez Guarantee require the following components to be submitted in their entirety prior to listed deadlines (note that students applying for the Alvarez Guarantee must attend a one-time information/grant planning session during the school year before submitting a grant application in order to be considered):

  • Application & Essay Form
  • Current Resume/CV
  • Projected Budget Form
  • Statement of Support from Academic/Holistic Advisor or Assistant Director for International Career Development

All Alvarez Grant applications are submitted through the International Student Program’s portal in WildcatSync. Applications missing any documents listed above by the deadlines will not be considered.

Deadlines

The grant application portal will be open from August 15, 2019 through May 3, 2020, but there will be specific deadlines for students requesting funds to be used during fall semester (inclusive of Fall Break), Winter Break, Spring Break and Summer 2020. Applications for the 2019/20 academic year are accepted at five points during the academic year. All deadlines are firm and all components of the application must be submitted by the deadline. Applications missing any documents and/or the Statement of Support or not submitted through the application portal by this deadline will not be considered.

  • To receive funding by Fall Break 2019 (for any activities occurring during Fall Break through the beginning of Winter Break), applications are due by September 15
  • To receive funding by Winter Break 2019/20 (for any activities occurring during Winter Break through the beginning of Spring Break), applications are due by November 17
  • To receive funding by Spring Break 2020 (for any activities occurring during Spring Break through May 17, 2020 Commencement), applications are due by February 2
  • Summer Break requests, applications are due by March 15
  • For early Fall 2020 (funds needed before Fall break 2020), applications must be submitted by May 3, 2020 (in the preceding spring semester)

Grant applications should be submitted as early as possible. Funding will not be allocated on a rolling basis but rather only subsequent to the above deadlines.

Frequently Asked Questions

If I have already been awarded an Alvarez Grant in the past and I am now preparing to apply for an Alvarez Guarantee Grant, am I required to attend a mandatory information/grant planning session?

Yes. Anyone who plans to apply for the Alvarez Guarantee Grant for the 2019/20 academic year (including for the summer of 2020) must first attend a one-time mandatory information/grant planning session.

If I am awarded a grant from another department on campus, can I still use funds from the Alvarez Grant Program?

Yes, we encourage all international students to take advantage of the many student funding opportunities which exist on campus (Dean Rusk International Studies Program, Center for Civic Engagement, Center for Career Development and Davidson Research Initiative). If funds given through one of these programs are not sufficient to fund a specific experience, then the student may apply for the Alvarez Grant Program if the expense is still connected to the student’s curricular or career goals.

Does the additional programming and/or advising cost my family more in tuition and fees?

The Alvarez Grant Program is made possible through generous support from Malú and Carlos Alvarez. Mr. Alvarez is a former member of the Davidson College Board of Trustees. Thus, it does not increase tuition or fees. Grants offered to international students may be subject to tax withholding and students should consult with the office of financial aid to confirm if an Alvarez Grant will have any impact.

Can I apply for Alvarez Grant Program funding for work/research in my home country?

Yes, you can apply to use these funds for work or research in your home country, if you can make clear how the work or research opportunity is connected to the field of your curricular or career goals.

I’m a senior. Can I apply for Alvarez Access Funds to support an activity or cost that occurs after I graduate?

No. Alvarez Access Funds will only be awarded to support activities or costs that occur (are incurred) before graduation. The only exception would be in the case that an Alvarez Access grant is pursued in support of a post-completion Optional Practical Training application. The summer grant application of March 15 still strictly applies.

What do I do if I find out about an opportunity at the last minute?

Grant applications are not reviewed before one of the five deadlines throughout the year – they are not reviewed on a rolling basis. Students must plan ahead if they hope to receive either the Alvarez Access or Alvarez Guarantee grants. 

Can I be reimbursed for my experience(s)?

No. Funding for experiences must be pre-approved. A completed application must be submitted by the listed deadlines. The only exception would be in the case that an Alvarez Access grant is pursued in support of a post-completion Optional Practical Training application. The summer grant application of March 15 still strictly applies.

How many times can I be awarded funding?

Applications for the Alvarez Access and Guarantee grants all require timely, complete applications. If a student does not follow the application procedures, funds will go to other applicants. There is no limit on the number of times a student can apply for the Alvarez Access grant, but unless there is funding available at the end of the year, no more than one Access Grant and one Guarantee would be awarded to a student in a single academic year.

Beginning with the entering class of 2023, students receiving financial aid from Davidson College are eligible for two grants of up to $4000 each. Eligible students will only be awarded  a maximum of two Alvarez Guarantee Awards – even if they request less than the full $4000 for each grant. This grant is of such an amount that students are encouraged and expected to “think big.” Students can “bundle” experiences and propose multiple, relevant activities in the same grant application in order to make maximum use of the award, but the activities all must fall within the current academic year (and/or subsequent summer). Depending on availability of funding, students can supplement the $4000 using Alvarez Access funds (a separate Alvarez Access Grant application must be filed in its entirety and by the posted deadline).

I am on Davidson financial aid but I am graduating before 2023. Am I eligible for two Alvarez Guarantee Grants?

This grant program is being launched in the fall of 2019 and is intended to make two grants available to each student over the course of their four years at Davidson. Students with less than four years remaining at Davidson, might be eligible to be awarded a grant, but they cannot be guaranteed being awarded an Alvarez Guarantee Grant. Upperclassmen plan in advance, be particularly mindful and diligent to meet all deadlines, and prepare strong, complete grant applications if they hope to be awarded an Alvarez Guarantee Grant in their remaining time at Davidson.

What do I do once I’ve received funding and completed my experience?

Once the student has received funding and completed the experience, he/she may be required to return unused funds greater than 10% of the original award amount; submit a completed Financial Summary form; submit a reflection; and provide a “thank you” card/note/letter/photos to the Alvarez Family.