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March 23, 2015

Students cash in on travel expenses

By Melanie Morris

Cleveland State University students Jeremy Adato and Craig Albrecht recently received checks for more than $2,000 each to help with travel expenses pertaining to their fall internships whose transportation requirements exceeded typical expectations.

The university recently received two grants for paid internships, one of which was $113,908 from the Career Ready Internship Grant Program administered by the Madison, Wis.-based Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation.

Student travel is one aspect of internships that this grant supports.
Craig Albrecht
The grant will reimburse up to 15 students who travel to internships at manufacturing companies based on Cleveland State’s prevailing mileage reimbursement rate for personal automobile use. The current rate is now 57 cents per mile.

Students are required to travel at least 45 miles one way. Other eligibility requirements include a GPA of 2.5 or higher, good academic standing, a demonstration of financial need and an approved Cleveland State CareerLine resume.

If eligibility is approved following the student’s application, the reimbursement is decided on a first-come, first-served basis. However, only two students applied for assistance for the fall.

“I am sure there are other students who qualify; they just don’t know about it,” Pamela Coletta, Career Services coordinator, said.

Although students tend not to consider internships that are farther away, Coletta said she encourages students to explore their options. Goodyear in Akron, for example, offers an internship that, according to Coletta, is excellent and an amazing experience.

“This travel allowance is positioned to open these opportunities to CSU students who would otherwise be unable to afford to travel those distances on a regular basis,” she said.

Senior civil engineering major Craig Albrecht traveled 55 miles one way to his internship at the Ohio Department of Transportation’s District Three in Ashland. This was his second semester at this organization, as he traveled 100 miles one way in the summer.

“I stayed on for the fall semester because it was somewhat of a guaranteed job as no one else wanted to drive that far and it provided plenty of good work experience,” he said.

Albrecht said the check he received helped out imJeremy Adatomensely and allowed him more time for studying and less time working at his part-time job.

“[At first] I thought the whole thing was a joke,” he said. “I would’ve been happy with just a tank of gas.”

Adato, who graduated in December 2014 with a Bachelor of Civil Engineering, also interned at the Ohio Department of Transportation’s District Three. He drove 60 miles each way.

“ODOT District Three was a place where there were great opportunities to learn and work and I was willing to take the time to commute,” Adato said.

He said he encourages other students to apply because if you qualify for the money, there’s no reason not to. He said the process is easy and the rewards are amazing.

“I am really thankful and happy to have been awarded this money,” Adato said. “It has helped me to simply pay for basic living expenses.”

Employers are posting their summer internships now and students can begin applying. To verify eligibility, students must complete the Eligibility Questionnaire that can be found at

Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates helps millions of students pay for college and repay their student loans. Through Community Investments, Great Lakes leads initiatives and funds programs that help students from traditionally underserved backgrounds start and complete a two- or four-year degree or other credential. For more information, visit