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We are excited to announce that Bennington College has received generous support from a private foundation to award grants of up to $2,500 for students participating in a 2014 Field Work Term (FWT) position or Independent Study (IS) focused on public action.

Who is Qualified to Apply?

Bennington College students who:

  • Are participating in a FWT position or IS focused on public action—either domestically or internationally. Public action includes, but is not limited to, engagement with one of the following areas: poverty and other issues of economic equity, education, health care, conflict resolution, social justice, the environment and energy, journalism, and governance.
  • Enjoy good academic standing.
  • Have passed any previously completed FWTs (first-year students and transfer students may apply).

Application Process

Students should complete the online application, and have a recommendation submitted on their behalf no later than noon October 16. The application includes the proposal and budget statement.

Proposal section. Applicants will be asked to respond to the following in their proposal:

  • Describe your plans for FWT including information about the organization for which you will be working, its mission, how their work addresses issues of public action, and what you will be doing with the organization.
  • Explain how this work fits into your Plan, or if it doesn’t, why it is important and additive, and how you expect to connect this FWT experience with your academic program.

Budget statement. The official budget statement is a part of the online application form. Use this sample budget to help you organize FWT costs. Incomplete or error-filled budget sheets will not be considered. Costs should be well researched and may mean checking area rents for your destination on relocation websites or calling realtors, or estimating food costs by visiting a grocery store. Driving costs for gas and maintenance can be estimated by multiplying your weekly commuting mileage by $0.50 per mile.


One recommendation is required and is due by noon October 16, 2013.

  • Who can recommend you? Recommendations for a TELOS grant need to be submitted by either your advisor (faculty advisor or, for new students, first-year advisor), other faculty member, or administrator (director position or higher). The recommender must be familiar with your work.
  • How are recommendations submitted? Recommendations are submitted via an online form. Recommenders should be given at least a week to complete and submit a recommendation once they agree to do so. We prefer to receive the online recommendation form. However, if your recommender is having trouble, have him/her contact us for other options. Recommendations are due by noon October 16. Late recommendations will not be accepted, so again, please give you references ample notice. It is the student’s, not the recommender’s, responsibility to ensure the recommendation is submitted on time.

How to ask for a recommendation? Sample email to a recommender (once you have spoken with him/her about your plans):

Date [no later than October 1, 2013]

Hi [name],

As we discussed, I will be doing [X] for my FWT this year. I am applying for a TELOS grant to help finance my FWT. Would you please submit a recommendation on my behalf? Here is a link to the recommendation form. You’ll need to use your Bennington email to login and complete the form. The FWT & CDO need to receive this by noon on Wednesday, October 16 if I am to be considered. If you are not able to recommend me, please let me know. If you have questions about the form, please call the FWT & CDO at 802-440-4321. They have let me know that they will help you out with this.

Thank you,


Review Process

Applications will be reviewed by an internal review committee, and then selected applicants will be forwarded to the second round which will include review by the donors. Applicants who are not selected for the second round will automatically be considered for general FWT funding, as will applicants not selected in the second round of TELOS reviews. Students do not need to apply for regular FWT funding separately.

The committee will allocate awards based on the following criteria:

  • Fit between the organization’s mission and the goals of CAPA;
  • Quality of work to be done by the student;
  • Connection with the student’s work at Bennington;
  • Potential impact of this experience on the student’s work;
  • Uniqueness of the experience for the student;
  • Advisor recommendation; and
  • Financial need.

Students will be notified if they are awarded a grant no later than November 8, and will be granted a registration extension if one is needed as a result of the award timeline.

Students who are awarded a TELOS Public Action Grant will be asked to participate in three meetings with CAPA faculty and Fellows prior to the start of FWT to help them prepare to make the most of this experience. They will also need to participate in a post-FWT reflection groups preparing them for their presentation of what they learned over their FWT with the Bennington College community. Finally, award winners will be asked to meet with a representative of the granting foundation upon completion of their FWT.


FAQs: TELOS Public Action Grant

  • If I do not get a TELOS grant, will I still be considered for other FWT funding?

  • Will I be notified if I do not make the second round of TELOS reviews?

  • How much am I eligible for?

  • Who is on the review committee?

  • Who are the donors?

  • Why do I need to write a thank-you letter, share my essay, and meet the donors?

  • Why do I need to share my experience with the greater Bennington community?

  • What if my plans change?

  • What if I am deferring FWT to the summer, can I still apply?

  • I received a TELOS grant before, can I apply this year?

  • Can I receive both TELOS money and another Bennington FWT grant?