Summer Funding

Career Services Summer Funding Program

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 many 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 abroad, but find the travel costs to get there to be prohibitive.

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 both.

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 are guaranteed funding (provided that you meet the eligibility requirements) and we will coordinate with Student Financial Services to process your funding.

No award will exceed $4,000*

You may wish to also review our Penn Funding Resources for Summer Opportunities page for information on alternate funding opportunities made available through various offices and centers at Penn.

Application Instructions
Review Process


Application Open on Handshake and Qualtrics: January 31, 2019

Application Deadline: Friday, March 1, 2019 (with summer experience offer confirmed by March 15)

Please note that this year there is only one deadline. Applications will not be reviewed until March 1 (the application is not rolling)

Decision & Notification Date:

Applicants will be notified by the end of March

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 juniors and seniors only--rising sophomores are ineligible), but graduate students in the schools we serve are also encouraged to apply
  • Have applied for a summer opportunity such as an internship, service program, or research opportunity, either here in the US or abroad that is at least 6 weeks in length; you must send the offer letter to Career Services by March 15, 2019, but you may still apply if you have not yet received confirmation (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 a minimum of 30 hours per week
  • Not be participating in a fee-based internship program. Those 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, Penn and Beyond

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

  • 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
  • Financial need and/or being the first in their family to go to college
  • 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. Click the "Apply" button associated with this listing on Handshake.
  2. Attach a resume to this Handshake posting
  3. Attach a personal statement (no more than 450 words) explaining how this experience will help you with your professional development (this will be considered your "cover letter") to this Handshake posting
  4. If you receive financial aid from Penn, please attach a copy of your financial aid award (as the "other document") to this Handshake. If you do not receive aid, simply attach a document that says "I do not receive financial aid from Penn."
  5. Fill out the summer funding application questionnaire here: Summer Funding 2019

Please Do NOT Apply for Funding if:

  • You are seeking funding for a study abroad program or other 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 2019
  • You are a first year undergraduate student (applying for funding for an opportunity during the summer between your freshman and sophomore year)


All summer funding applications should be submitted through this Handshake posting and will consist of the following:

    1. 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.

    2. Goal 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."

    When completed, upload your statement as a cover letter as part of your Handshake application.

    3. Resume (not to exceed 1 page). Please see resume guidelines and samples on our website: Upload your resume to your Handshake application.

    4. Internship Offer Letter (if in possession). If applicable, please provide a copy of your offer letter by emailing it as an attachment to Robin Chakrabarti at with the subject line "CS Summer Funding Offer Letter." In the body of your email, please include your full name and Penn ID number for reference.

    6. Financial Aid Documentation (if applicable). If you receive financial aid from Penn, please provide the associated documentation available from PennInTouch. Instructions: Log-in into PennInTouch, 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 Handshake application.


    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 application is not rolling, and the deadline is Friday, March 1, 2019 at 11:55PM. Decisions will be announced in late March.

    *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 policy. Funding awarded to domestic students will be treated as taxable income, post-award.


    Be sure to check out the Career Services Summer Funding FAQ page

    You may also find our Penn Funding Resources for Summer Opportunities page helpful for determining alternate funding resources.