PSP-PDA FAQs

Acceptable uses for PSP PDA funds include:

  • Study Abroad. Scholars may use the award for travel costs and international room and board expenses. Scholars may also use the award for summer study abroad program fees. The Presidential Scholarship covers tuition for study abroad during fall and spring semesters. Some study abroad programs through Villanova also include room/board costs, e.g.:
    • The VSB Global Citizens programs include tuition and room (the PSP PDA could be used for flights and meals).
    • The VSB Business and Culture in the Italian Context (BCIC) includes tuition, room, and partial board (the PSP PDA could be used for flights and supplementary meals).
    • The Fall Program in Urbino, Italy includes tuition, room, and partial board (the PSP PDA could be used for flights and supplementary meals).
    • The Semester Program in Cadiz, Spain includes tuition, room, and partial board (the PSP PDA could be used for flights and supplementary meals).
    • The Semester Program in Lille, France includes tuition, room, and partial board (the PSP PDA could be used for flights and supplementary meals).
  • Unpaid or low-paying internships. Scholars may use PSP PDA funds to help cover living costs (room and board away from home/school address) and other expenses (e.g. travel) incurred during internships and summer research internships (e.g., DAAD RISE). For low-paying internships, PSP PDA funds may only be used to cover reasonable expenses exceeding the internship salary.
  • Summer research. Presidential Scholars should submit a PSP PDA application in place of a VURF application; this is referred to as the PSP PDA VURF. The PSP PDA VURF carries a stipend at the same rate as a VURF grant ($10/hour, 35 hours/week, 10 weeks) and must be at least nine weeks in duration. Students should follow all published guidelines from the VURF application process; proposals that do not meet the high caliber of a VURF proposal may not be funded. Students may use PSP PDA funds to cover costs associated with their research (e.g. supplies and/or consumables in the laboratory, printing and copying, etc.) as well as living costs (room and board away from home address) and other expenses (e.g. travel) during the research experience. The PSP PDA VURF application should include a one-page resume, a two-page research proposal, a bibliography, a one-page personal statement, an itemized budget, an unofficial transcript, and a letter of support from a Villanova faculty sponsor. Students should prepare a PSP PDA VURF application following the same format and using the same guidelines listed on the VURF webpage. Students should submit all documentation in one PDF file to the PSP PDA application portal.
  • Research during the academic year. The PSP PDA will not provide stipends or hourly payment for research during the academic year. Scholars may use PSP-PDA funds to cover costs associated with their research projects (e.g. supplies and/or consumables in the laboratory, printing and copying, travel to collections, etc.).
  • Professional development. Scholars may use PSP PDA funds to travel for fieldwork (equivalent to a CRF Research and Travel Grant), attend and/or present at professional conferences or meetings (equivalent to a CRF Conference Travel Grant), etc. Students may receive approval for other professional development experiences, as well (consult with a PSP administrator).
  • Volunteer/Service experiences. Scholars may use their PSP PDA to cover costs associated with approved volunteer or service activities.

Your PSP-PDA award will be deposited into your account the semester during which you participate in the experience. If you have holds on your account, or if your bill has not been paid, this may prevent future registration. Summer semester PSP-PDA award recipients should be aware that their course schedule may impact the timing of the disbursement of their award. Check with the Bursar's Office for direct deposit questions, the Office of Financial Assistance for aid-related questions, and the Office of the Registrar for registration questions.

PSP-PDA funds may be electronically deposited in the bank account of the Scholar’s choice (e.g., a financial account belonging to the student or a parent or guardian). It is highly recommended that you sign up for "Direct Deposit of Refunds" via the Bursar Dashboard in MyNova so that their office can electronically send your PSP-PDA funds directly to your bank account. The setup and verification process takes approximately one week. A direct deposit consent remains in effect as long as you are in school. Just remember that if your checking or savings account information changes, you must sign up again with the new information. Direct deposit can go to any financial institution within the United States. If a Scholar does not submit their direct deposit information, a check will be issued in the Scholar's name and mailed to the permanent home address on file. Your financial account will also be updated to reflect the award.

No, Scholars do not have to be registered for academic credit to receive PSP-PDA funding for internships or global experiences. For instance, a Scholar taking a leave of absence for the spring semester to participate in a full-time internship or co-op program may request funding as long as the Scholar will be registered for courses the following semester. Applicants must still be considered undergraduate students at Villanova University. Presidential Scholars who have graduated prior to their activity may not apply for funds.

The amount of funding you request depends on the nature of your experience. In most cases, the PSP does not have the funding available to support the entire cost of enrichment experiences. For instance, Scholars participating in summer education abroad programs should not request the total budget estimated. Instead, think critically about the funds you will need to make this experience more affordable for you. You might focus on the cost of airfare, room and board, or in-country transportation. A reasonable amount to request in your application can range from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars. If the need exceeds PSP-PDA, CRF recommends that you apply for additional funding via other sources (e.g., a CLS, Gilman, or Boren study abroad scholarship). See CRF for assistance applying to these and other awards.

Verification can include mileage and per diem calculations, receipts, booking confirmations, quotes for travel arrangements, rental contracts, etc. Generally, the more detail you can provide, the better.

You will be notified of your award amount once your application has been reviewed and approved. We cannot inform you of your specific award amount until your application has been formally processed and approved. A variety of factors are considered when reviewing applications, including, but not limited to: the cost of the program, year at Villanova, the Scholar’s cumulative GPA, previous PSP-PDA funding received, as well as the quality of the PSP-PDA application. Awards are also determined by the funds available at the time of receipt as well as the specific criteria of our funding sources.

Once you have submitted your PSP-PDA application online, a confirmation message will appear on your screen. If you did not see the confirmation message, your application was likely not received. If you are unsure if your application has been received, please contact CRF or call 610-519-8803.

In most cases, if you have submitted by the deadlines indicated above, you should receive a decision within two to three weeks after the posted deadline. PSP-PDA applications must be reviewed and undergo a variety of processes and approvals before Scholars can be notified of their awards. Consequently, it may occasionally take us a bit longer to get back to you. Feel free to call or email CRF if you would like to check on the status of your application.

At this time, the committee cannot accept appeals of PSP-PDA decisions. We recommend that you reach out to other potential funders, including your academic department. For study abroad, you may consider applying for a CLS, Gilman, or Boren Scholarship. Visit the Office of Education Abroad's Scholarships and Other Funding webpage for more possibilities.

The Presidential Scholars Program is administered by the Center for Research and Fellowships.