Intergenerational Connections: Students Serving Older Adults

About the Project

CIC is pleased to invite applications from member institutions to participate in a project that CIC has developed with support from the AARP Foundation, “Intergenerational Connections: Students Serving Older Adults.” Twenty (20) institutions will be awarded grants of up to $13,000 for the 2018–2019 academic year for use primarily as student stipends to create or expand undergraduate student service projects that address the needs of low-income older adults (50 years and older) in the institutions’ communities.

The project has four main goals:
  • Identify and serve needs of older adults in college and university communities, particularly in the areas of (a) hunger, (b) housing, (c) income generation, and/or (d) social isolation;
  • Help college students develop new skills and knowledge;
  • Increase student retention at independent colleges and universities through service learning; and
  • Develop a national network of student programs that recognize the mutual benefits of intergenerational connections.


​CIC welcomes applications from current Institutional Members; applicants must remain in good standing as Institutional Members for the duration of the project. CIC will accept one application per campus for a new or existing project that involves undergraduate students. Institutions that currently participate in the 2017–2018 cohort of the project are eligible only to apply for renewal grants. Instructions for those applications will be communicated directly to current participants.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Eligibility

​​CIC welcomes applications from current Institutional Members; applicants must remain members for the duration of the project. CIC will accept one application per campus for support of a new or existing project that is based on undergraduate students working with older adults.

Projects that do not already receive support from another organization, such as Campus Kitchens Project, local United Way chapters, or the Bonner Foundation, will receive priority consideration.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Application Information

​Each application should include a: (a) completed online Application Form; (b) letter of support signed by the institution’s president; (c) completed Proposal Form that is no longer than seven (7) single-spaced pages; and (d) project budget. All applications should be submitted online no later than Friday, February 16, 2018, as a single file (items b–d). The Application Form will be accessible and applications can be submitted throughout the database upgrade. 

  • Application Form

  • Proposal Form
    Please answer all questions in the document in no more than seven (7) pages.

  • Project Budget
    Please provide a budget for the proposed project that indicates the amount of student stipends—including the number of students involved and for how many hours per semester—and any applicable project costs. Stipends must account for at least 85 percent of the project budget, while other project costs (transportation, supplies, speaker fees, etc.) may account for no more than 15 percent. Personnel, capital, and overhead expenses are not eligible for support.


To the extent possible, proposed projects should be developed according to validated principles of social change, based on needs analyses and research conducted in the community and grounded in documented best practices.



Safe and affordable housing

  • Students assess home safety and conduct audits with older residents of their homes.

Nutrition and affordable diets

  • Students help seniors plan balanced diets with affordable groceries.
  • Students and older adult groups share healthy recipes, and cook and eat meals together.
  • Students and older adults plant, tend to, and harvest a community garden.

Social interaction

  • Students create oral histories with older adults in their communities and present the projects at a community event.
  • Student groups include seniors in campus events and in related post-event discussions.

Income generation or savings

  • Students in accounting courses help older adults prepare their tax returns.
  • Students assist older adults in looking for part or full-time work.


​Bay Path University (MA)
Bridgewater College (VA)
Caldwell University (NJ)
Campbell University (NC)
Coe College (IA)
Dominican University of California
Dominican University (IL)
Elizabethtown College (PA)
Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady University (LA)
Goodwin College (CT)
​Hilbert College (NY)
Holy Names University (CA)
Jarvis Christian College (TX)
Meredith College (NC)
Pfeiffer University (NC)
Rust College (MS)
Shenandoah University (VA)
Springfield College (MA)
Wheeling Jesuit University (WV)
Whitman College (WA)
Wofford College (SC)

Selection Criteria

  • Quality and distinctiveness of the proposed program;
  • Probability of significant results for the older adults and the students from the program;
  • Frequency and intensity of intergenerational interaction;
  • Extent of ongoing involvement of students;
  • Demonstration of commitment as evidenced by allocation of the institution’s resources to the program;
  • Replicability at other CIC member colleges and universities;
  • Feasibility and institutional commitment of a plan to sustain the program beyond the grant period;
  • Inclusion of an evaluation plan that uses specific benchmarks; and
  • In the case of an existing program, clear indication of how the grant will expand or improve upon that program.

Frequently Asked Questions

​How do the funds relate to financial aid?

  • Funds must be awarded according to federal financial aid regulations and institutional policy.
  • Funds are not need-based. Therefore, institutions may award funds to students with no federal financial aid.
  • Funds are for stipends, not wages.
  • Institutions may use funds to reduce the “gap” between demonstrated financial need and total financial aid package.
  • Funds may substitute for work study awards or loans, depending upon the institution’s packaging philosophy.

How is the project using the term “community” or “community members?”
Institutions may choose how to define these terms and should include their definitions in the proposal. “Community” is not limited to the town in which the institution is located.

Is there a template for the project budget?
There is not a template for the project budget. Please use a budget format that clearly indicates the amount requested from CIC as well as any institutional or in-kind contributions.

How will proposals be evaluated?
CIC will award twenty (20) grants of up to $13,000 each, for use over a one-year period as student stipends and modest project costs during 2018–2019, to college programs—course-based or extracurricular—that show the greatest promise to serve important needs among older adults who live in the college’s community. This grant program can be used either to help colleges expand existing programs or to support new initiatives.

Project Timeline

February 16, 2018
Member institutions submit proposals to CIC

April 2018
Institutions are selected for participation in the project and awards are made

August 2018–May 2019
First round projects are implemented

February 2019
Institutions submit interim narrative and financial reports

August​ 2019
Institutions submit final narrative and financial reports

August 2019
Institutions participate in the national best practices workshop

Contact Information

​​​Please contact Kelsey Sherman Creech, assistant to the president, at or (202) 466-7230 with any additional questions about the Intergenerational Connections project and application process.