Summer Funding

ABOUT the 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 not for profit or NGO work abroad, or to do a research project, but the travel costs to get there are prohibitive.

This year, thanks to generous donors, Career Services has a fund of money to allow students to pursue unfunded or under-funded summer opportunities.  The funds could cover travel expenses, living expenses, or both.  No award will exceed $3000.*

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
Application Instructions
Review Process

2017 Application Timeline

Application Open: February 20th, 2017

Application Deadline: March 24th, 2017 (with offer confirmed by April 15th)

Decision & Notification Date: late April 2017

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible to apply you must:

  • Be a full-time Penn student; preference will be given to undergraduates (all are eligible), but graduate students in the schools we serve** are also encouraged to apply
  • Have a confirmed summer opportunity such as an internship, service program, or research plan, either here in the US or abroad; you must send the offer letter to Career Services by April 15, 2017, but you may still apply if you have not yet received confirmation
  • Not have received summer funding from another Penn program or office
  • 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. You can see past examples here:
  • Apply by the deadline, March 24th, 2017

Please do NOT apply for funding if:

  • You are only seeking funding for a study abroad program
  • 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 expeirence is shorter than 5 weeks
  • You will graduate in May or August 2017

Application Components & Instructions

All summer funding applications should be submitted via PennLink (ID 837047).

    1.Career Services Summer Funding Application Form. Please answer all questions in the Summer Funding Application Form (incomplete applications will not be considered).  When completed, please follow these precise directions to ensure that we receive your information correctly:

    • Use "Save as" option to save the form locally to your computer or network.
    • Under your "Documents" tab in PennLink, select "Add New"
    • Label the document "Summer Funding Application 2017"
    • Select Document Type "Other Documents".
    • Upload your completed application in PennLink:
      • Click on the "Jobs" tab and the "PennLink Listings" sub-tab
      • Search for Job ID#: 837047, click the "Summer Funding 2017" hyperlink title
      • Click the "APPLY" button and add each required document
      • Click "SUBMIT"

    2. Budget (page 3 of the application form). On the budget portion of the application, please list only those expenses for which you will be directly responsible (i.e., if the employer pays your transportation costs, do not include them in the budget). Preference will be given to candidates who create a modest budget that demonstrate an ability to live economically.

    3. 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 in your PennLink documents folder using the same instructions as above, but select "cover letter" as the document type.

    4. Resume (not to exceed 1 page). Please see resume guidelines and samples on our website: Upload your resume to your "Documents" folder in PennLink and save it as "resume" under document type.

    5. Internship Offer Letter (if in possession). If applicable, please provide a copy of your offer letter by emailing it as an attachment to Kelly Walsh at The subject line of your email should be "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 "Unnoficial Transcript" in your appliation on Pennlink.

    Review Process & Notification

    A committee will review all applications, and will select those who will receive support.  We anticipate that at least 25 students will receive funding, and decisions will be announced in late April 2017. 

    *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.

    **Annenberg, Arts and Sciences, Biomedical Graduate Programs, Engineering, Design, Graduate School of Education, Nursing, Social Policy and Practice and Wharton Doctoral.


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