VCU Internship Funding Program
Will you be participating in an internship this summer that is unpaid or doesn't pay enough to cover your expenses? Don't let your funding needs cause you to miss out on opportunities for personal and professional development. Apply for funding for your summer experience through the VCU Internship Funding Program!
Funding will be awarded as a direct deposit and can be used to supplement costs for travel to your internship, housing, childcare, professional attire, supplies, and more!
Summer 2023 applications are now closed. Stay tuned for details about Summer 2024!
Complete and eligible student applications will go through a competitive selection process that includes multiple rounds of review by a committee of approximately 40 faculty and staff from both campuses. Funding is not guaranteed to all applicants, but we hope to support as many students as possible. Awardees will be notified by mid-to-late April, and payments will be dispersed by mid-May.
Questions? Contact VCU Career Services at email@example.com, and visit our drop-in hours (Tues-Fri, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Commons).
Eligible students must:
- Be a current VCU undergraduate student.
- IFP funding is not currently available for incoming students, graduating seniors, or alumni.
- Eligibility is not restricted by citizenship. If you are not a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (green card holder), you most likely need to obtain visa-related employment authorization before starting an internship of any kind, including an unpaid or a micro-internship. Detailed visa-related guidance about internships for VCU students on F-1 visas is online at GEO's website at Internships and Volunteering and Immigration Guidance for VCU REAL. For more information, please email GEO Immigration Services.
- Eligibility is not restricted by financial aid.
- Plan to enroll for at least one semester (fall 2023) after your funded internship in a VCU undergraduate program or be a continuing student in an accelerated (5-year) Master's program at VCU.
- Maintain Satisfactory Academic Progress during spring 2023.
Eligible internship experiences must:
- Entail working with and for an organization external to VCU.
- Internships within VCU offices/departments will not qualify for IFP funding this year. However, we encourage VCU offices interested in internship support to dedicate their departmental funds to hiring VCU students.
- Be supervised by a professional staff member within the employer organization.
- IFP support cannot be used for entrepreneurial startup funding or unstructured learning experiences.
- Be unpaid or underpaid based on applicable expenses.
- See the budget worksheet.
To apply, you will need to submit the following:
Frequently Asked Questions
- Internships are supervised, structured work experiences that are time-limited and ideally project-based with a tangible outcome. Internships should facilitate individual students' career exploration, professional networking, transferable skill-building, and personal reflection. Though not always tied directly to one's major or course of study, internships often complement or supplement academic pursuits, leadership experiences, or other interests. At this time, we are defining internships broadly and would encourage students who are engaging in career-related, work-based learning during summer 2023 to consider applying. Shadowing-only opportunities do not qualify for funding at this time.
- There are lots of great ways to find and cultivate internship opportunities, and we provide a number of tips and resources on the VCU Career Services Internships website.
- An ideal place to start searching for active internships is through VCU's Handshake system, which is managed in partnership between VCU Career Services, Business Career Services, and Engineering Career Services. There were over 18,000 new internships posted to Handshake during the 2021-2022 academic year alone!
- Another great resource that pulls from Handshake and other internal and external sites for relevant internships and experiential learning opportunities is the VCU Student Opportunity Center (SOC). Learn more about how to best navigate the SOC on the VCU REAL website.
Students planning on participating in an international internship experience will need to register with VCU’s Global Education Office by Saturday, April 15 and enroll in CISI health insurance. If you're looking for a credit-bearing internship, check out these resources. All students planning for travel to Level 3 or Level 4 Travel Advisory countries must petition with VCU ITAC for approval to travel. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the next steps.
Applying for Funding
- No. IFP applications will be reviewed and recommended for funding based on specific internship experiences. Additionally, the application essays and budget worksheet may be difficult to complete accurately without a specific internship in mind. There is no weight added to applications based on the date of submission. We advise that students take the time they need to find an internship of primary interest and make sure their application information is complete, specific, and detailed before the April 2 deadline.
- Once selected, the verification process to receive funding requires proof of offer from the intended internship site.
- Yes! As a part of the application in the RAMS Scholarship Hub, you will be asked to upload a verification that you have at least been invited to interview for the specific internship you are applying to fund (or proof of offer, if received). This can include an email from a Human Resources or general staff member of that organization inviting you to interview, an email confirmation of your scheduled interview with the organization, or a copy of the offer email/letter.
- Please note that we are unable to accommodate a funding request for a different internship than what was previously submitted in your application.
- If you are selected to receive funding, we will follow up with you to ensure that you have been accepted to the internship. Confirmation of the internship offer will be due on or around April 27, 2023, ahead of funding distribution.
- Provide as much detail as possible in your written answers, and be clear about how much funding you are asking for and why. Outline your motivations for participating in the internship and how it relates to your academic and career goals. Let the selection committee know how this internship experience will positively impact your academic and career development and to what degree receiving funding from VCU would influence your ability to participate in the internship this summer.
You will receive an email from Virginia Commonwealth University Scholarships titled "Your scholarship application has been received." That email will state, "Thank you for submitting your VCU Internship Funding Program application." If you have not received a notification, please email email@example.com.
Student and Experience Eligibility
- Yes! You do not need to be in a specific major to be eligible to apply. Awardees from Summer 2022 represented 27 different majors at six different VCU schools/colleges.
- If you are concurrently applying for, and are awarded funding through, any other VCU-sponsored internship funding program (such as one of the experiential learning scholarships through the College of Humanities and Sciences), this may impact the amount of funding you are eligible to receive through the general VCU Internship Funding Program.
- At this time, only undergraduate students are eligible to apply. However, continuing undergraduate students who are part of an accelerated (5-year) Master's program at VCU are eligible to apply. We encourage you to explore the opportunities available in the VCU Scholarship Hub and to connect with your academic advisor and faculty within your academic department to discuss other funding options.
- Yes! Even if an internship is paid, it may need to pay more, or you may need funding before the experience starts to finance travel to the internship or a deposit on housing near your internship site. Please let us know in the application and budget template how much your internship employer will pay you, so the selection committee can see what additional expenses you have and what your earnings may not cover.
- Yes, students can request funding for professional clothing and supplies. We encourage you to consider visiting the Suit Yourself Closet through VCU Career Services (one location in the University Student Commons and one location in Hunton Student Center), which offers free, gently used professional clothing and styling services to VCU students. Some of the benefits include:
- Students can take up to four items during each visit to the closet.
- Students can visit the closet twice a month.
- Students own the clothes they take from the closet. No need to return!
- To take advantage of Suit Yourself Closet, make an appointment through Handshake and let us know what you are looking for in our pre-appointment survey.
- We also encourage students to check out local thrift stores for a low-cost alternative as they pull together a summer internship wardrobe that meets the standards of their specific employer and industry. You can find a few options in our brief resource, RVA Clothing Thrift Stores, Tailors, & Cleaners.
- Feel free to check out our professional dress style guides that offer some ideas and options as you consider your professional style. Remember, every employment or professional setting can be very different, and the most important thing is that you feel comfortable and confident.
- No, there are other select funding pools for specific majors or experiences, including but not limited to:
Awards and Selection Process
- We aim to award funding to as many individual students as possible while addressing each student's specific needs. If you are chosen to receive funding, the selection committee may choose to fund your entire proposal or part of it, up to $5,000. The more descriptive you are in the budget template and essay questions, the easier it will be for the selection committee to get an idea of your areas of need and where we can help you close gaps.
- Our goal is to notify all awardees of their status by mid-to-late April. If we have an alternate list and find that we have more funding to distribute, there may be a second round of notifications in early May.
- Those not selected for funding through the process will receive direct notification via email, as well.
- VCU Procurement plans to distribute internship funds via direct deposit to students' bank accounts on or around Friday, May 12.
- Selected students will be required to complete the following in a timely manner before they are approved to receive funding:
- Handshake pre-experience survey that includes uploading a copy of the specific internship offer letter/email and supplying internship supervisor/employer contact information
- VCU direct deposit paperwork
- Student Acknowledgement of Protocols for VCU Experiential Learning Activities (Non-Clinical)
- Students planning on participating in an international internship experience will need to register with VCU’s Global Education Office and enroll in CISI health insurance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for the next steps.
Please note that funding from the VCU Internship Funding Program is a one-time payment from VCU, not a scholarship. As the funding will be directly deposited in full to your personal bank account from VCU so you can utilize it immediately for summer expenses, the award is considered taxable income. If you were being paid by your internship employer, that hourly or stipend payment would have be deemed taxable income in the same way, with taxes either taken out along the way or to be counted at the end of the tax year. Unlike academic scholarships or other assistance that you may receive via the Office of Financial Aid to attend VCU, IFP funds are intentionally not routed through your VCU student account to pay tuition and fees, and instead made available for. you to use for applicable expenses like rent, travel, attire, supplies and more.
A 1099 will be issued to you for any payments you receive of $600 or more in a calendar year. IRS rules are that an employer is only required to issue a 1099 for $600 or more in a calendar year. The current 1099-MISC form definition is available on the irs.gov website. If you have further questions, please contact a tax professional to meet your specific needs.
- No. This program is designed for students to apply directly for funding for an internship they have secured, and funding is not guaranteed to all applicants.
- We encourage all employers who recruit at VCU to pay student interns as an equity-based best practice and, in many cases, the law. As an employer offering an unpaid or underpaid internship experience, you are welcome to encourage VCU student applicants to apply for the IFP ahead of the April 2 deadline. Still, your ability to hire them should not be contingent upon their receiving funding from VCU. If you would like to partner with VCU Career Services to recruit VCU student interns, design an effective internship, or engage in other career development opportunities and events, please contact our Employer and Experiential Development Team at email@example.com.
- As the future supervisor or current HR contact for the organization in where the internship is occurring, you will receive an email from VCU/Handshake as soon as your student intern is selected for an award and submits a survey response through the Handshake Experiences module to accept their funding offer. You will need to answer a few short questions about the internship by April 27. If you, as the employer contact, fail to complete the verification part of the process, the student intern will not be able to receive funding.