Career Services Summer Funding Program

June 10, 2021 UPDATE: The Career Services Summer Funding Program for the summer of 2021 is now CLOSED.

Note that highly aided students should continue to apply through the summer funding program available to them through the Student Financial Services office. The application period has closed for all other applicants, including for graduate students served by Career Services and students whose family income exceeds $140,000.

Many summer internships, particularly in certain fields, provide only a small stipend or do not pay at all. Sometimes 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 funds 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).

During the pandemic and various country-specific travel restrictions, Career Services Summer Funding program will not consider applications that require international travel. However, international students with an opportunity in their home country may apply. In addition, U.S. students can apply for funding to support a virtual international opportunity where projects can be completed domestically.

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, you must apply for summer funding directly through Student Financial Services where your award is guaranteed provided that you meet the basic eligibility requirements.

All applications must include a detailed budget. No award will exceed $4,000*.

IMPORTANT: As a result of COVID19, we understand logistics related to summer opportunities may change. Students will be required to confirm the final status of their summer experience before funds are disbursed.

2021 REGULAR APPLICATION TIMELINE: These are not rolling deadlines; we will review each batch of applications following each deadline. We will notify all applicants of decisions within one month of each deadline.

Round 1 Application Deadline: Sunday, February 28, 11:00PM ET

Round 2 Application Deadline: Sunday, March 28, 11:00PM ET

Round 3 Application Deadline: Sunday, April 18, 11:00PM ET

Additional Round 4 Application Deadline for students with moderate family incomes: Sunday, May 9, 11PM ET


Students applying for Career Services Summer Funding must:

  • Be a currently-enrolled, full-time returning Penn student (graduating students and students who are on leave during the spring 2021 semester 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 | Please note that No Documentation is Required to Apply. Applicants can be U.S. citizens, permanent residents, international students, DACAmented students, or undocumented students
  • 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 attach the offer letter to Career Services with your application to be considered (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 as 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 (CAS Undergrads Only) | Deadline to submit has passed
Only apply for the additional May 9 deadline if you are an undergraduate with moderate family income (approximately $65,000 – $140,000) 

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 undergraduate Penn students to follow their passions to further human rights causes here and around the globe. If you are an undergraduate student in the College and your opportunity is related to human rights, please indicate that as part of your Career Services summer funding application questionnaire.

To Apply:

  1. Complete the Career Services Summer Funding Application Survey
  2. The final question on the survey asks you to attach a PDF. This document must be named “LastName_FirstName” and include your resume, personal statement, detailed budget, and your offer.* (See sample here for additional information)
  3. Submit before each deadline:
    Sunday, February 28, 11:00PM ET
    Sunday, March 28, 11:00PM ET
    Sunday, April 18, 11:00PM ET
    Sunday, May 9, 11:00PM ET only if you are an undergraduate student with moderate family income (approximately $65,000 – $140,000)

*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 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 20 hours of work per week (preference will be given to opportunities that are at least 30 hours per week)
  • You will graduate in May or August 2021
  • Applications requiring any international travel, however international students with an opportunity in their home country may apply; a US student cannot apply for an international opportunity unless that opportunity is remote


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 contain the following, in this order:

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

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 also need to:

  • 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. Detailed Budget (REQUIRED)Complete the attached Excel budget template and save the sheet as a PDF to include in this document you will submit through Qualtrics.

4. Information About Financial Context (if applicable).  If you do not receive financial aid from Penn and would like to provide additional context to the committee about why you require funding for your summer opportunity, you may include a short paragraph explaining your circumstances. (Only include this information if applicable.)

5. 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 final page of the PDF you submit through Qualtrics.

Click Here to View a Sample


A committee will review all applications, and will select those who will receive support. The deadlines are not rolling. The committee will review all applications following each deadline, and notify applicants on decisions within one month. You may not submit the same application for more than one round. If your first application is not accepted, you may apply for a later round with a different opportunity.

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.

*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 be 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.