COVID-19: Essential Information

Opportunity Grants Application Instructions within Handshake

Opportunity Grants

Seizing Opportunities Fund

The Seizing Opportunities Fund was set up to help ensure that all students have access to the full Middlebury experience. While some funding from this source is designated to CCI to support unpaid internships and other activities, we have some money to help students with financial need gain access to participation in all aspects of a Middlebury education. This fund may cover expenses that wouldn’t be covered by other forms of funding; e.g., we have set aside some money to offer wage relief for students who wish to take an “all-in” winter term course, such as MiddCORE. Some of this funding has been specifically designated to support high-need international students and first-generation students.

Posse Donor Fund

The Posse Donor Fund provides funding to Middlebury College Posse Scholars for emergency usage. Past recipients have used this funding for emergency traveling, medical needs, and college expenses. Note: The Posse Donor Fund should be viewed as a last resort. Scholars are encouraged to look for outside funding before applying for this fund. Scholars must first consult with their mentor or the Posse liaison about whether it would be appropriate to apply for funding through the Posse Donor Fund. If the scholar is encouraged to do so, the application is done through Handshake via our Opportunity Grants following the instructions below.

CTLR Mentor Fund

The CTLR Mentor Fund is meant to support students who may need funding for nonpaid internships, applications for conferences, conference travel, and testing, such as for special needs or for professional schools.  

Dean of Student Life Emergency Fund

These limited funds, administered by the Dean of Students, are meant to support students in need in moments of emergency, such as the death of a family member. For emergencies, students’ first course of action should be to contact their dean.

Exceptional Medical Needs Fund

To assist undergraduate matriculated students in meeting short-term exceptional medical needs to support their ability to fully engage in their academic programs. This fund is not intended to completely cover the cost of students’ care, but is meant to assist them in receiving necessary care in a timely fashion so they can continue their studies.

General Information:  

  • We normally require seven days to turn around these fund requests.  Exceptions are made for emergencies! Please email Naomi Neff ( with questions.

  • You will be notified of your approval via Handshake notifications. Watch for these notifications in your email or through the notification icon in Handshake. You may need to check your clutter and junk folders.

  • If you do not receive an email, you may need to update your Handshake Notification Preferences (click on your name> Settings & Privacy> Notification Preferences).

  • International students submitting a request for OPT Fee Reimbursement: please contact International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) for guidance about the pre-approval process and the required documentation you will need for your Handshake submission.
  • We recognize we are asking for personal information in the application. This helps us make appropriate decisions. All information will be kept confidential.

Application Process for Opportunity Grants:

  1. Log in to your Handshake account at

Note:  If you haven’t created your Handshake account already, you will need to answer some questions to complete the account setup process.

  1. Go to Career Center> Experiences.

  2. Select Request an Experience in the upper right corner, and complete the following fields:

    1. Experience Type = Opportunity Grants Application.

    2. Term = Fall 2018/Winter 2019/Spring 2019.

    3. Employer = N/A.

    4. Job = N/A.

    5. Under the General section complete all questions.

View Request Status for Opportunity Grants

  1. Log in to your Handshake account at

  2. Go to Career Center> Experiences.

  3. Click on View Details for your experience, and you will notice a number of tabs across the top.

  4. Detail is where you can view the status, the approvers, and the detail of your request.

  5. Comments and Activity is where you will see any notes about your funding request, including the amount approved.

FAQs about the Handshake Application

  1. Which Fund–You need solely apply for an opportunity grant via Handshake and the managers will decide which fund, if any, will fund your request.
  2. Thank You Note–We ask that you write a thank you note to our donors to inform them of how you have used your funding. This should be addressed to “Donor” or “To Whom it May Concern.” A handwritten note is fine, or you may email your note to Naomi Neff at
  3. Reimbursement–If you have paid in advance, you will need to submit itemized receipts to Naomi Neff at, who will submit a voucher for reimbursement.
  4. Payment–If it is possible for us to pay for any of the expenses with a college purchase credit card, that is the easiest method. Please contact Naomi Neff at to discuss.
  5. Notifications–Be sure to follow the directions to allow notifications that you receive all communications through Handshake. You will also be contacted by Naomi Neff through email until the Handshake app has been proven effective.
  6. Confidentiality–All information provided will be kept in strict confidence and will only be shared with those College employees who are involved in the approval process.