Career Center > Resources > Career Readiness and Experience Fund

Career Readiness and Experience Fund

CREF graphic

Applications are closed.

Update: March 2, 2021
Due to an overwhelming response, no further applications are being accepted at this time.  We will consider reopening applications in spring quarter if additional funds become available.


Please review the guidelines below before completing an award request. Incomplete applications will not be considered.


The Career Readiness and Experience Fund (CREF), part of DePaul University's Now We Must campaign, was created to support students' career and professional development.

How can CREF funds be used?

Funds can be used for things like:

Attending or participating in a professional conference or career networking event

Paying for graduate school exam fees (e.g. GRE, LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, etc.)

Funding an unpaid internship or short-term project

Joining a professional association

Purchasing professional dress attire

Other professional development-related goals or activities

Items for which funding will not be awarded:
  • Laptops and webcams: For assistance with these items, please submit a request to the Technology Access Fund
  • Tuition assistance: Please contact DePaul Central for any tuition-related requests

Application Requirements and Award Guidelines

The fund awards as little as $50 and up to $2,500 per request based on need and specified use to students who demonstrate self-motivation towards their own professional and career development. The standard award amount for a professional attire purchase request is $500.

Funds will only be awarded for expenses incurred within one month before or after the application.

  • For expenses incurred one month prior to the application, receipts must be submitted to careerfunds@depaul.edu prior to application consideration.
  • For expenses occurring after the funds have been received, receipts must be submitted within one month of receiving the funds.
  • You must not be receiving funds from any other source (e.g. Internship Plus)
  • You will need to provide offer letter documentation showing the length of the internship and the expected number of hours to be worked.
  • Funding will be considered for work occurring during the quarter the application is submitted and/or work occurring in the three months following the application.
  • Amount awarded will be based on the minimum wage (currently $14/hour) and the minimum number of hours expected to be worked.

Funding will only be awarded for the cost of one graduate school exam. The amount award will be determined by the fees posted on the exam’s website. Please share the URL in your application.

Applications will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  1. Did you provide significant detail about how you will use the award?
  2. How related is the request to your field of study or career-related goals?
  3. Did you submit a professionally-ready resume?

You will receive an email notification letting you know if your request was approved. Applications will be reviewed on a monthly basis, so you should receive your notification no later than one month after your application was submitted.


Apply for an award

Update: March 2, 2021
Due to an overwhelming response, applications are currently closed.  We will consider reopening applications in spring quarter if additional funds become available.

To apply for an award:

  1. Review the application requirements and award guidelines above. Incomplete applications will not be considered.
  2. Complete the CREF Application form.
  3. Submit a professionally-ready resume to careerfunds@depaul.edu after you have completed the application.

Other funding opportunities and scholarships

Internship Plus

Need funding for your an unpaid internship? The Career Center's Internship Plus program accepts applications and awards funds on a quarterly basis. The Internship Plus program was established to support DePaul University students participating in unpaid internships that demonstrate financial need. This program awards up to $2500 in financial assistance to eligible undergraduate students working in a quarter-long unpaid internship.