Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience : Office of Student Life
Pay It Forward

Our Programs / Columbus Service Support Program

Columbus Service Support Program FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions


Who can apply for the Columbus Service Support Program?

All students (graduate and undergraduate) at Ohio State are eligible to apply for the Columbus Service Support Program.

Do I have to be a registered student organization to apply?

No. All students are welcome to apply. Examples of other groups that have been awarded funds in the past include residence halls, Greek organizations, new student organizations that had not achieved active registration status yet, and even a group of friends.

What can I use the funds for?

Funds can be used for facilitating a service experience within the city of Columbus. Examples of items funds are typically used for include (but are not limited to) transportation to the service site, supplies to engage in service, background checks required by the agency.

Does the service project have to be in Columbus?

Yes, it must focus on the Columbus community. If you have questions, please contact Caroline at or Kaitlyn at

When do I have to use the funds by?

If you are awarded a $300 grant, you are expected to use it by December 15, 2017. If you are awarded a $1,000 grant, you are expected to use it by May 15, 2018.

How do I receive the funds I am awarded?

Funds are typically distributed through a reimbursement process upon completion of the service project. For $1,000 awards, reimbursement is completed after each service activity. Questions or concerns about the reimbursement process can be directed to Pay It Forward Advisor, Kate Hildebrandt at

Who are the service coaches?

Coaches are Pay It Forward cohort members. You will be matched with a coach who can best support the individual needs of your group. Coaching matches will be distributed at the required orientation on October 1, 2017, and you will meet your coach during the orientation session.

How often will I meet with my service coach?

For $300 award recipients, you are expected to meet with your coach a minimum of twice (though coaches are available to meet more often with groups who would like additional support) as well as communicate about your progress over email. For $1,000 award recipients, you are expected to meet with your coach monthly as well as communicate about your progress over email. The first meeting for all groups will take place on Sunday, October 1st during the required orientation session.

If I’m applying for the $1,000 award, do I have to know what I want all five of my service activities to be when I apply?

No. However, we expect groups applying for this level of funding to have already selected an area of service they are passionate about, and to have brainstormed a few ideas of what those service activities might look like. You will be asked to include some information about this in the application.

If I’m applying for the $1,000 award, do all of my five service activities have to be off-site service trips?

No. Service activities can include events that relate to your service focus or the needs of your community partner. Examples of programs that would qualify as service activities could be bringing a speaker from your community partner to campus to help OSU students learn about the service issue you are focusing on, hosting an on-campus awareness day or supply drive related to your service issue, or taking your organization to tour the service agency you’re partnering with. As long as your programs include service and engagement as their central focus and aim to center the needs of the community partner(s) you work with, we would consider it a service activity.

Do I have to split the $1,000 evenly between all five service activities?

No. Some activities may require more funds than others - you may need to purchase supplies to start your projects that you will re-use, for example.


Further questions?
Contact Caroline at or Kaitlyn at for more information.