Summer Internship Stipends

The Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) is committed to helping ALL K students participate in internships so they can gain the necessary experience to successfully transition into careers post-graduation. To alleviate the financial burden on students participating in unpaid internships, the CCPD has a summer internship stipend program. 

The program features tiered stipends with the primary goal of increasing the amount of funding provided to students. The tiers take into account factors such as the inability of students to work jobs during their internships, inflation, and the rising cost of housing in various cities.  While the CCPD believes that all internships should be paid, we understand that many industries rely on unpaid internships and the stipend program helps ensure that more students have access to valuable internship opportunities.

The following tiers are available to ALL students. 

Level 1

  • Calculated by: In-person Internship + no financial need level or low financial need level
  • Travel reimbursement of up to $2,000
  • Total Funding up to $2,000

Level 2

  • Calculated by: In-person internship + Moderate cost area + medium financial need level
  • Example cities include: Kalamazoo, Cincinnati, Nashville, Austin, etc.
  • Initial Stipend Payment: $3,500
  • Internship Completion Payment: $1,000
  • Total Funding: $4,500

Level 3

  • Calculated by: In-person internship + Moderate cost area + high financial need level
  • Example cities include: Kalamazoo, Cincinnati, Nashville, Austin, etc.
  • Initial Stipend Payment: $4,000
  • Internship Completion Payment: $1,000
  • Total Funding: $5,000

Level 4

  • Calculated by: In-person internship + high-cost area + medium financial need level
  • Example cities include: New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, etc.
  • Initial Stipend Payment: $4,500
  • Internship Completion Payment: $1,000
  • Total Funding: $5,500

Level 5

  • Calculated by: In-person internship + high-cost area + high financial need level
  • Example cities include: New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Los Angeles, etc.
  • Initial Stipend Payment: $5,000
  • Internship Completion Payment: $1,000
  • Total Funding: $6,000

Level 6

  • Calculated by: Remote Internship + no financial need level or low financial need level
  • Initial Stipend Payment: $2,500
  • Internship Completion Payment: $1,000
  • Total Funding: $3,500

Level 7

  • Calculated by: Remote Internship + medium & high financial need level
  • Initial Stipend Payment: $3,000
  • Internship Completion Payment: $1,000
  • Total Funding: $4,000

Common questions:

  • Do I need to know my financial need level before I apply?
    • No! Students do not need to know their financial need level to apply for a stipend. If awarded a stipend, CCPD staff will assign students to the appropriate award tier based on the formula listed above.
  • Do I need to have secured an internship before I apply for a stipend?
    • Yes! All applicants must secure their internship before applying for an internship stipend. If it is determined that the applicant has not fully received an internship before applying or is in the interview process, they will be passed over in the application process and their application will be withdrawn from consideration.
  • Are stipends awarded randomly?
    • No. Students earn stipends through the application process of answering a series of essay questions (more information on that below). The essays have the applicant’s names and all identifying information removed (to prevent bias in scoring) and are then given to a panel for scoring with the highest-scoring applicants receiving a stipend.
  • Does the internship need to be unpaid to qualify for an internship stipend?
    • Yes! The internship stipends exist to allow students that otherwise couldn’t afford them to participate in valuable unpaid internship experiences. Paid opportunities do not qualify for a stipend.
  • Are stipends awarded on a first come first serve basis?
    • Kind of. Due to the limited amount of funding at this time, the CCPD unfortunately cannot provide a stipend to every student. While the determining factor for receiving a stipend will be the application essays, stipends will be awarded until the funding runs out. So, the sooner students apply, the better chance they have of receiving a stipend.
  • Can international students apply for stipends?
    • Yes. Degree-seeking international students (international students that are here for 4 years) can apply for a stipend. Unfortunately, visiting international students cannot apply, since stipends are used for internships that take place during the summer after the spring term ends. Only current and active K students may receive a stipend.
  • Can seniors apply for a stipend?
    • No. Stipends are used for internships that take place during the summer after the spring term ends. Thus, seniors would have graduated and they are no longer a K student but alumni.

Minimum Qualificaitons

The minimum qualifications for an internship to qualify for a stipend are as follows:

  • The internship must be unpaid.
  • The internship must be for a minimum of 240 hours.
  • The internship cannot be from an organization that offers a community building internship.

If you have questions if your internship qualifies please contact Richard Sylvester at richard.sylvester@kzoo.edu.

Application

Applying for the internship stipend requires applicants to answer a series of essay questions relating to how their internship will help their career development. Each answer is limited to 150 words and going over the word limit could result in lost points. Essays are reviewed by a committee and all identifying information is removed from the essays to remove bias. Essays are graded using the following rubric: inadequate-0, limited-1, reasonable-2, excellent-3. The maximum amount of points an applicant can receive is 15 total points, thus it is imperative that essays are excellently written as 1 or 2 points might make the difference between receiving a stipend or not.

The essay questions are as follows:

  • Roles and responsibilities:
    • What will you do in this internship experience? What roles and responsibilities will you take on? What new and/or challenging experiences will you have? What will you accomplish?
  • Learning Opportunities
    • What do you expect to learn from this internship experience? For example, what academic theories will you test? What professional skills will you develop? What experiences have prepared you for this internship, and why is this a good “next step” for you?
  • Supervision
    • Who will mentor, guide, and support your learning during your internship experience? What are your supervisor’s qualifications and skills, and how will you take full advantage of these? How accessible will your supervisor be? How much have you communicated with your supervisor to date?
  • Resources
    • What facilities, opportunities, experts, and programs will be available on-site or in the region to complement/enhance your internship experience? How will you access these resources? What do you hope to gain by accessing these resources?
  • Outcomes
    • What will be the impact of this internship? How will this experience affect you, your career development goals, and the organization in which you will work? What else might change as a result of this experience?

You are not required to answer each question for every prompt. The additional questions are there to give you a starting point and suggestions if you need help with starting your essays. Additionally, it is advised that applicants work on their essays in a separate document as the survey can ‘timeout’ which would result in a loss of work and CANNOT be recovered.

For the best chances to receive a stipend, it is advised that applicants do not submit their first draft but spend time rewriting and revising their essays after receiving feedback. For assistance with writing the essays, students can go to the writing center, visit the Career Studio or schedule a career coaching appointment with Richard Sylvester in Handshake.

Once confident in their essays students can use the link below to apply.

Click here to apply