After a successful launch this fall, grants for students traveling to unpaid internships will be offered on a permanent basis starting next semester.
The fund, now renamed KACIF-Travel, provides up to $300 per semester to reimburse student transportation costs for traveling to and from “necessarily unpaid” internships, meaning positions at organizations that genuinely lack funding to pay interns. This semester, the first time the grants were offered, funding quickly ran out as the number of students who applied outpaced the number of grants available.
Applications for the second round of transportation grants for students traveling to unpaid internships will open Jan. 17, the first day of classes in the spring.
Rachel Brown, the assistant provost for University Career Services, said her department will fund all students who meet the qualifications as long as funding from donations is available.
“Based on the strong response to our initial launch, we have a strong case to share with current and potential donors about student demand and interest in the fund,” Brown said.
Funding for the grants, which are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, is raised completely through donations. Funding can only be awarded once during a student’s time at GW and cannot be given at the same as other University-provided grants, according to the career center's website.
Donations for unpaid internship grants hit $200,000 over the summer.
Brown added that applications will open the first day of spring semester to give students enough time to figure out transportation routes and register for Metro cards.
Student Association President Erika Feinman said the grants are designed to support students who need financial aid to be able to participate in internships.
“I hope it continues to grow in the future,” Feinman said. “I can imagine the fund will become much more popular the longer it is around because more students will know about it.
Feinman added that the fund was renamed from Student Internship Transportation Grant to KACIF-Travel to better market it. The Knowledge and Career Internship Fund, or KACIF, which funds unpaid internships, is already recognized by students, Feinman said.