CSU Unpaid/Underpaid Internship Support Program
Funded by the Career Center, Student Success Initiatives, and First Generation University Initiative Steering Committee
Internships are critical to gaining experience and developing the skills needed to secure a full-time job offer after graduation. Internships give students meaningful career experience provide access to professional networks, and facilitate career exploration. Career outcome data for CSU (2018) suggests that at least 66% of students complete an internship, and those students are more likely to have a job offer or acceptance to graduate school when compared to students without internship experience. The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) (2017) found that the more internships a student participated in, the more likely they were to secure employment or enter graduate school within six months after graduation.
NACE (2017) also found that the introduction of internship funding for every student increases access to internship opportunities. Many students want to complete internships but are unable to do so because of financial or other barriers. The CSU Unpaid/Underpaid Internship Support Program, sponsored by the CSU Career Center and Student Success Initiatives, has two goals: Increase the number of CSU students completing internships and reduce financial barriers to completing an internship.
The CSU Unpaid/Underpaid Internship Support Program will support any CSU student interested in completing an internship through financial awards of up to $4,000. Examples of support include:
- A student participating in an unpaid or underpaid internship
- A student completing an internship in a high-cost location where living expenses are presenting a barrier
- Any CSU student that is experiencing a financial barrier preventing them from completing an internship
- Must be a currently-enrolled CSU student
- Need to have applied for or secured an internship (confirmation of internship will be required)
- Internship must be 20 hours per week or more and at least 6 weeks in length
- Recipients of award money will be selected based on a variety of factors, including strength of their overall application, quality academic progress, quality of the internship experience (if applicable), and financial need.
- Preference will be given to undergraduate students completing their first internships, unpaid or underpaid internships, or those who would not be able to participate in their internship without financial support. Students that are first-generation, underrepresented in their school, major, and/or industry may also be prioritized.
- A committee, including representatives from the Career Center, will review applications and make final selections.
Application Process – Accepting Now
- Demographic Information
- Name, Year in School, Major, College, Email Address, Student ID number
- Current Resume (the Career Center can help with resume development if needed)
- Internship Information
- Organization Name, Location, Start Date, End Date, Hours per Week, Hourly Pay (if applicable)
- Internship Job Description
- Essay Questions
- Please explain why this internship is important to you and how it fits into your professional goals and career path.
- Please explain how this money will help to make your internship financially possible.
- Please provide a breakdown of your personal budget during your internship, showing the rationale for the amount of money you are requesting (up to $4,000)
- Disclosure of any additional funding you are receiving to support your internship
- Confirmation of an Internship Offer
- February 3, 2021 — Applications Open
- May 3, 2021 — Applications Due (Early Applications are Encouraged)
- Award decisions will be communicated on a rolling basis but no later than May 6, 2021
- May 10, 2021 — Confirmation of Internship Placement (Letter from place of employment confirming you have accepted their offer)
- May 12, 2021 — Paperwork Submitted for Monetary Distribution
Questions Contact Katie Flint or Jon Cleveland
Important Note to Student:
• Be sure to consult with the Office of Financial Aid to understand any ways that additional income might impact your financial aid eligibility. For example, additional earnings increase your income to a level you are no longer eligible for a Pell grant.