Funding and Scholarships

Department Funding for Participation in Professional Conferences

Who should Apply?

If you are planning to attend and present at a regional, national or international conference related to your professional development as a geography major, our department might be able to provide partial support for your trip. 

Please, note that the department financial support is discretional, not guaranteed, and is subject to funding availability. 

When Should I Apply?

It is always a good idea to apply for funding as early as you can.

To apply for Geography and Sustainable Funding discretional conference funding, please, complete the following form and append all required documents. Send your application, including all required attachments to [email protected]

Geography & Sustainable Planning students can find the link to the application here: Sponsorship for GPY Majors

If you would like to fill out pdf application form online when complete right click on the form and chose Save As. This will save it to your computer and you will be able to attach it to your email with required attachments.

How Much can I Receive?

It will be limited to $150 for a regional/$450 for a national/ and $750 for an international conference per student per trip per academic year.

Priority will be given to geography majors who have not received the department funding before.

We also encourage you to seek funding from the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) and other sources of scholarships and grants.

Experience Matters!

Grand Valley students are doing amazing things through professional experiences outside the classroom. This site gives viewers an inside look at these experiences.

Click here to find out more!


Career Center Internship Award


The Career Center understands that, while completing an internship is necessary to be competitive in today's job market, it can be financially straining. In an effort to help offset the costs of working in unpaid internships, the Career Center provides ten $500 scholarships to students during each academic semester (Fall, Winter, and Spring/Summer semesters).


Candidates for the award must meet the following criteria:

  1. Enrolled as a degree-seeking student and participating in a Grand Valley State University-approved, credit-bearing, unpaid internship. To qualify, students must meet criteria required for internship eligibility within their academic department.  Preference will be given to students who demonstrate financial need (based on FASFA information), clearly respond to the essay question, and submit a quality resume.
  2. Candidates and recipients shall be making satisfactory academic progress according to the norms established by the University.
  3. Demonstration of financial need as defined by government programs is required. 
  4. Candidates must be accepted by Grand Valley State University for enrollment or be attending the University to be eligible to receive this scholarship.

Award Specifications

  1. This scholarship will be awarded to a candidate only once. Prior recipients may not reapply.
  2. Recipients of the award will be obligated to pay back all of the monies awarded within 30 days of occurrence if for any reason they:
  • Withdraw/drop their academic credit for the experience.
  • Quit or are terminated from their internship work site.

Application Procedure

Candidates for this scholarship will complete the online application found on myScholarships

*The application deadline is the first day of the second week of classes for the semester in which the student is completing his/her internship, except for the fall semester; the fall semester deadline is September 3.

*NOTE: If you are completing a Spring or Summer semester internship, applications are due the first day of the second week of classes for the Spring Semester.


The recipients will be chosen by a Career Center selection committee in collaboration with the Financial Aid Office of Grand Valley State University. Notifications will be made through the myScholarships website.

WEGE Prize 2020

WEGE Prize 2020

What is WEGE Prize?

Wege Prize is an annual competition that ignites game-changing solutions for the future by inspiring college/university students around the world to collaborate across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural boundaries to redesign the way economies work. Participants contend for over $30,000 (USD) in total cash prizes, all while helping to show the world what the future of problem solving looks like.

Beginning August 26, the program will accept team applications for Wege Prize 2020.

Geography majors in the past were successful in competing for this award!

The Players

College/university students from all over the world will compete in transdisciplinary teams of five, representing different academic disciplines and different academic institutions.
Undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral level student are eligible to compete. 

The Challenge

How can we create a circular economy? 
Each team must leverage its transdisciplinary makeup to collaboratively design and propose a product, service, business/non-profit organization, or other solution to a wicked problem that can help us transition from a linear economic model to a circular economic model. Read the 2020 Design Brief

The Prizes

Winning teams will split the following awards evenly between their five members:
First Place: $15,000 (USD)
Second Place: $10,000 (USD)
Third Place: $5,000 (USD)
Past Winners

NOAA- Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship


The Hollings Scholarship Program provides successful undergraduate applicants with awards that include academic assistance (up to $9,500 per year) for two years of full-time study and a 10-week, full-time paid ($700/week) internship at a NOAA facility during the summer.

The internship between the first and second years of the award provides the scholars with hands-on, practical experience in NOAA-related science, research, technology, policy, management, and education activities. Awards also include travel funds to attend a mandatory NOAA Scholarship Program orientation and the annual Science & Education Symposium, scientific conferences where students present their research, and a housing subsidy for scholars who do not reside at home during the summer internship.

Hollings Alumni report that the experience influenced their academic and career paths, expanded their professional networks and improved their skills for working in NOAA mission fields. 100% of Hollings Scholars surveyed said that they would recommend this opportunity to other students.

More information or to apply to the Hollings Scholarship Program.

NOAA- Educational Partnership Program with Minority Serving Institutions (EPP/MSI) Undergraduate Scholarship


The EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship provides funds for two years of undergraduate study to rising junior undergraduate students majoring in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields that directly support NOAA's mission. Participants conduct research at a NOAA facility during two paid summer internships. Since 2001, over 186 students have completed the program and over 75% go on to graduate school.

Students attending Minority Serving Institutions as defined by the U.S. Department of Education (Hispanic Serving Institutions, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaskan-Native Serving Institutions, and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions) are eligible to apply for the program.

Important update: Starting in 2019, U.S. nationals are eligible to apply for the EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship Program. 

More information and to apply to the EPP/MSI Undergraduate Scholarship

AAG - GTU Travel Award

American Association of Geography

The AAG-GTU Travel Award provides support for student members of GTU to attend the national annual meeting of the American Association of Geographers. Travel awards are available with preference to Geography undergraduate and graduate students who are attending an AAG meeting for the first time and who will serve as an author or co-author on a paper or poster being presented at the meeting. 

The 2021 Annual Meeting of the AAG will be virtual. The awards will be reimbursed to GTU students for the cost of registration if they attend the virtual 2021 meeting.

Application Deadline: March 7th 2021

See GTU website for applications 

Submit applications to Karen Johnson-Webb: [email protected].

Ongoing Opportunities

GVSU Office of Sustainability Practices

Click here for more information on Scholarships & Funding through the GVSU Office of Sustainability Practices.

GVSU Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships

Fellowships website

Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) Summer Programs

The Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship (OURS) is currently encouraging students to consider and apply for one of five summer programs

  1. The Beckman Scholars Program provides an in-depth, sustained undergraduate research experience for exceptionally talented, full-time undergraduate students at U.S. colleges and universities. The BSP provides funding and support for a student and mentor to conduct sustained research over two consecutive summers and one academic year of research. The BSP provides significant funding for student research and dissemination. This is a full-time summer opportunity with a 15-month commitment.
  2. The GVSU Library Scholars Program provides students with the opportunity to have an immersive research experience using the library’s resources and collections.  Mentored by a library faculty mentor, the scholar will develop and enhance information literacy skills and an understanding of library studies as a means to engage in a disciplinary, scholarly conversation. This is a half-time summer program. The grant includes student stipend.

  3. The Modified Student Summer Scholars Program (MS3) is geared toward lower division students and first year transfer students. It provides funds for a student and faculty mentor to devote either about 200 hours over twelve weeks, or 200 hours during the Spring or Summer six-week session to a research and/or creative project. Generally, MS3 grants provide a student stipend, faculty stipend, and a small budget for supplies. This is a half-time summer program. The grant includes student stipend and student travels funds. Information sessions available.

  4. The Reach Scholars Program prepares inquisitive, highly talented undergraduates to pursue graduate studies and earn PhDs in any discipline. This program provides layers of support through intensive advising, rigorous research, and scholarly engagement in order to prepare students for both the graduate school application process and academic success. REACH Scholars are students whose parents have no four-year college degree (first generation) and come from a lower income background. This is a full-time summer program. The grant includes student stipend and student travels funds.

  5. The Student Summer Scholars Program (S3) provides funds for a student and faculty mentor to devote about twelve weeks/400 hours to a research and/or creative project during the spring/summer semester. Generally, S3 grants provide a student stipend, faculty stipend, and a small budget for supplies. The grant includes student stipend and student travels funds. Information sessions available.

David L. Boren Undergraduate Scholarships and Graduate Fellowships for Study Abroad

Boren Scholarships and Fellowships support undergraduate (max. $20,000) and graduate students (max. $30,000) to study abroad in language-intensive programs in regions critical to U.S. interests, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America and the Middle East.

(Western Europe, Canada, Australia & New Zealand are NOT eligible.)

Boren Scholars represent a variety of academic backgrounds, but all are interested in studying less commonly taught languages, including but not limited to Arabic, Chinese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Indonesian and Swahili. Full list of countries and languages.

Boren Scholars and Fellows commit to working in the federal government for at least one year after graduation in a position with national security responsibilities.

Boren gives preference to applicants who are committed to government service and applying for countries, languages, and fields of study that are critical to U.S. national security.

African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI) Boren Fellowship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for the African Flagship Languages Initiative (AFLI)  to study Akan/Twl, French, Portuguese, Swahili, Wolof or Zulu.

South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI) Boren Scholarship applicants from any U.S. college or university may apply for the South Asian Flagship Languages Initiative (SAFLI)  to study Hindi or Urdu.    

For more information or to apply for this opportunity, please contact the Frederik Meijer Office of Fellowships at [email protected] or (616) 331-2699.

Page last modified September 8, 2021