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Whether you have an internship lined up or are just starting to look, knowing your funding options beforehand will help you pursue your desired internship experience confidently. Find out what you need to consider ahead of the internship search process, where to look for funding support, and how to apply!
Think About Your Budget
The first step is to consider your budget for the summer so that you understand what to look for.
What do you need funding for?
There are different sources of funding for internships, research experiences, conferences, and other professional development opportunities. Determine the opportunity you are looking to subsidize before you start searching.
How much do you need?
Try out sites like Numbeo to research cost of living by area to ultimately get an idea of what it will cost if you are relocating for your internship.
Use the Hub’s Internship Budget Template to keep track of what you currently spend and what expenses you may need to consider during your internship.
Start Your Funding Search
Check out these resources both internal and external to LSA to help you navigate different funding options:
LSA Internship Scholarship:
This need-based scholarship was created to make internships possible for LSA students and typically awards up to 500 scholarships per year for summer opportunities. If you are eligible, we encourage you to apply!
Additional funding sources:
Beyond the LSA Internship Scholarship, check with your affiliations or offices related to the work you want to do. This could be your major or minor department, units like the Residential College or Honors, or even professional organizations.
For a searchable database of known funding sources, access the Hub’s Professional Opportunity Funding Database. This includes information about whether the award is need- or merit-based, deadlines, term of the award, citizenship status required, and more.
Other databases: Since new funding sources appear regularly, it’s a good idea to check different sources for timely updates. Try some of these other databases:
- U-M Library: Use their search tool to find external funding options, including those available through professional organizations and a database for non-US Citizens.
- M-Compass: Discover funding options for internships, volunteer, research, and conferences, with a focus on international opportunities.
- CareerOneStop: External scholarship finder for internships and other opportunities.
Get Ready To Apply
Once you have identified scholarship opportunities or places to look, it’s time to plan out how you will craft your applications to give yourself the best chance of being approved for funding.
Create an application strategy
The number of scholarships available can be overwhelming. To make the best use of your resources, spend the most time on those you are more likely to receive, and then move on to others.
Prioritize applying to scholarships that:
• Closely align with your qualifications
• Award a large number of scholarships
• Are specific to your internship, college/university, locality, or identity
Review requirements in advance
Scholarship applications may require items such as budgets, essays, recommendations, and transcripts. Be sure to research what’s required early so that you have ample time to ask for recommendations and prepare your materials.
You may be asked to write an essay for the application. This question typically asks you to describe what the opportunity means for you and why you would be a good candidate for the scholarship.
Here are a few tips for how to write an effective essay:
- Address all parts of the prompt in your response.
- Connect your story to the mission of the scholarship awarder. Review what they are looking for in a candidate and highlight how your qualifications align.
- Express how important the opportunity is to your professional development and goals. Will this internship allow you to take a step toward your desired work or will it allow you to thoroughly explore a field you are curious about? Describe how the internship will be transformative for your career development.
- Explain how the funding will make it possible for you to meet those goals.
- While you are welcome to share personal details, you should not feel pressured to discuss things you might be uncomfortable sharing as a rationale for why you are requesting funding support. Personal stories are your decision to disclose or not.
Track your applications
To keep track of deadlines, requirements for each application, and the application status, use the Hub’s Search and Application Tracker.
Track Your Results
After your applications are submitted, continue to add application statuses and award decisions/amounts to your tracking spreadsheet to make sure you receive enough funding to complete your internship.
If you receive the amount you requested:
- Plan out your budget for the summer to make sure you’re spending within your limits. Use the Hub’s Budget Template to keep track!
- Ensure you are familiar with the requirements of the scholarship so that you can remain compliant. For example, they may ask you to complete certain items or notify them of any changes.
If you don’t receive the amount you requested:
- You can request a reconsideration of your award amount. Frame your message politely by thanking the committee for the award and reiterating your excitement for the opportunity. Then, describe in detail the additional amount requested, why it is essential for you to be able to complete the opportunity, and ask if they would be open to reconsidering your award amount. Notify them of any impactful changes that have arisen since the application was submitted. Whatever the response, thank them for their time.
- If you still don’t receive the amount you need, think about other strategies to either reduce expenses or increase your income, such as negotiating with your internship employer or working a part-time job, if at all possible. For ideas, feel free to make an appointment with the Hub!