Career Services Summer Funding Program

Please Note: As of Noon on Monday, April 27, Career Services has allocated all of our available funds. All applicants will be notified of their application status by Monday, May 4, 2020. Our Summer Funding process for 2020 is now officially closed.  

Many summer internships, particularly in certain fields, provide only a small stipend or do not pay at all. Frequently the internships are located in cities with a high cost of living. This means that some students are unable to take advantage of excellent positions, which are sometimes the first step towards a career in a given field. Other students wish to participate in nonprofit, NGO, or research work away from home.

Career Services has a limited fund of money to allow some select students to pursue unfunded or under-funded summer opportunities. Funds could cover travel expenses, living expenses, or other expenses related to the summer experience. Due to continuing updates related to travel advisories, we discourage students from making any non-refundable travel plans or incurring any non-refundable costs associated with summer internships (such as housing deposits) at this time.

During the COVID19 outbreak, Career Services will consider applications for funding related to remote internships or professional projects done via distance. While the 2020 funding cycle cannot fund international travel requests due to State Department and CDC travel restrictions currently in place, applications from international students currently residing in their home country who identify opportunities locally are eligible to apply.

This is a competitive process so please pay close attention to the details and instructions below to give your application the best chance of success. Please note that if you qualify as highly aided and are not a first year student, please apply for summer funding directly through Student Financial Services where your award is guaranteed provided that you meet the basic eligibility requirements.

No award will exceed $4,000*.

IMPORTANT: Career Services Summer Funding awards are dependent upon the opportunity taking place, and in cases where in-person opportunities convert to virtual, funding packages may be reduced. Students will be required to confirm the final status of their summer experience before funds are disbursed.

2020 REGULAR APPLICATION TIMELINE: April 8, 2020 (Note: Career Services will continue to evaluate applications on a rolling basis until all allocated funds have been awarded or until May 1, whichever is sooner)
Please Note: As of Noon on Monday, April 27, Career Services has allocated all of our available funds. Our Summer Funding process for 2020 is now closed.


Students applying for Career Services Summer Funding must:

  • Be a full-time returning Penn student (graduating students are not eligible to apply); preference will be given to undergraduates (rising sophomores, juniors and seniors), but graduate students in the schools we serve are also encouraged to apply
  • Have an offer for a summer opportunity such as an internship, service program, or research opportunity, that is at least 6 weeks in length; you must send the offer letter to Career Services by April 8, 2020 to be considered in our regular deadline process (study abroad programs and summer courses, even those with an internship or volunteer component, are NOT eligible for funding)
  • Disclose if you have applied for summer funding from another Penn program or office
  • Be working in a summer experience for around 30 hours per week* (*while preference will be given to applications where the opportunity is at least 30 hours per week, given the current situation with the Corona Virus we will consider those that are closer to 20 if needed).
  • Not be participating in a fee-based internship program. Those programs are ineligible for our funding
  • Not apply funds to future savings/costs. Career Services Summer Funding Awards can only be applied to costs associated with your summer professional experience. They can not be applied to future academic year costs, helping with family expenses at home, etc.
  • Agree to write a brief (450 word) summary of your experience which will be shared with our donors and posted on our blog
  • Confirm their internship/summer work experience status prior to receiving the CS Summer Funding Award

Preference will be given to candidates who can demonstrate the following:

  • Financial need and/or being the first in their family to go to college
  • That the experience is tied to long-term career goals/professional interests
  • An ability to make an impact in their field/industry
  • An opportunity for professional growth
  • Previous usage of Career Services advising (walk-ins, appointments, mock interviews or program attendance) as part of their career development

Turner Schulman Human Rights Internship Award

One of the dedicated summer funding awards through Career Services is the Turner Schulman Human Rights Internship Award, created in June 2017 by Suzie Turner C’82 and David Schulman C’82 L’85 to allow Penn students to follow their passions to further human rights causes here and around the globe. If your opportunity is related to human rights, please indicate that as part of your Career Services summer funding application questionnaire, as directed by the application instructions on Handshake.

To Apply:

  1. Complete the Career Services Summer Funding Application SurveyThis application is now closed
  2. The final question on the survey asks you to attach a 4-page PDF. This document must be named “LastName_FirstName” and include your resume, personal statement, financial aid statement, and your offer.* (See sample here for additional information)
  3. Submit before the deadline: Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 at 11:55PM

*Unfortunately Career Services cannot review or offer specific feedback on Career Services Summer Funding application materials, though advisors are available to offer general guidance on the funding process during appointments and day-of drop-ins. Please visit our website to learn how to prepare application materials.

Please Do NOT Apply for Funding if:

  • You are applying for an opportunity requiring travel abroad. Unfortunately, Career Services will not be able to fund any international opportunities requiring travel this summer (International students currently residing in their home countries who identify local opportunities are eligible to apply). On March 19 the US State Department issued a Global Health Advisory: Worldwide Level 4: Do Not Travel.
  • You are seeking funding for a summer course, even if that course has an internship or volunteer component
  • You are already receiving funds that cover the cost of living and travel expenses for this opportunity
  • You are participating in a fee-based internship program
  • Your summer experience is shorter than 6 weeks
  • Your summer experience requires fewer than 30 hours of work per week
  • You will graduate in May or August 2020


All summer funding applications should be submitted through Qualtrics.
Complete the Career Services Summer Funding Application Survey (a Qualtrics survey). Your responses to this survey will detail your intended summer opportunity and a proposed budget for your summer funds. Preference will be given to students who submit a modest budget that demonstrate an ability to live economically.

The final question on the Qualtrics survey asks you to attach your application. This should be four pages and contain the following, in this order:

1. Resume (not to exceed 1 page). Please see resume guidelines and samples. Upload your resume to your application.

2. Personal Statement. In no more than 450 words, explain how this opportunity aligns with your career goals, and how this funding would help address any specific needs you have. In your statement, students should:

  • Clearly state the position you are applying to, and whether this is a funded/unfunded position
  • Explain what you hope to learn from this position in terms of specific skills and knowledge, and why this will help you in your career path
  • Demonstrate why this particular opportunity is a good fit, and what you have done to determine this
  • Provide information related to your financial need

Note for Research Opportunities: Students will need to also:

  • Identify how the summer experience will differ from research you have previously done, especially if it is in the same lab
  • Provide a letter from a faculty member that states you have been given this offer and that explains how this experience will be mutually beneficial. This will serve as your “offer letter.”

3. Financial Aid Documentation (if applicable). If you receive financial aid from Penn, please provide the associated documentation available from PennInTouch. Instructions: Log-in into Penn InTouch, open your “Financial Aid” tab, and then select “Financial Aid Awards.” Copy and paste the information from this page into a Word document and upload it as an “other document” as part of your application.

4. Internship Offer Letter (REQUIRED). Please provide your formal letter confirming your offer or a screenshot of the email extending you the offer. For research, it is okay to provide a letter from a faculty member or advisor that states you have been given this offer and that explains how this experience will be mutually beneficial. This will serve as your offer letter. Include your first and last name at the top of the page and ensure this is attached as the fourth page of the PDF you submit through Qualtrics.



A committee will review all applications, and will select those who will receive support. Please note that we expect this to be a competitive process as we received over 300 applications last year and we were only able to provide funding to a small percentage of applicants. We expect to be able to fund fewer students than we did last year. The regular application deadline is Wednesday, April 8th, 2020 at 11:55PM. Regular application decisions will be announced in mid-late April. All applications received after April 8th will be reviewed on a rolling basis until all allocated funds have been awarded or until May 1, whichever is sooner.

*The award will be treated as taxable income, which the recipient will be responsible to report for the tax year in which it was received. Please note that funding awarded to international students will pre-taxed at a 30% rate, unless there are tax treaties in place with the origin country, per Penn’s policy. Funding awarded to domestic students will be treated as taxable income, post-award.

**Please note that funding awards are contingent upon the student being able to take part in the internship. Should the changing public health situation render the internship no longer possible before the start of the internship, money will no longer be distributed or (if already distributed), will need to be returned.