University pushes to fund unpaid internships

About 150 students are competing to have GW fund their unpaid internships this summer, but the University has yet to announce the number of grants available.

With unpaid internships in the national spotlight, selected students will each receive a check ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 based on their financial need and the type of internship, Assistant Provost for University Career Services Rachel Brown said. Applications for the grants, called “Knowledge in Action,” were due Monday.

Brown declined to say how much had been fundraised so far, adding that the University Career Center is continuing to market the internship grant program to potential donors. Fundraising efforts have targeted parents and alumni.

Brown said she is content with the number of students who applied.

The office is hoping to win an alumnus-sponsored cash challenge that awards $20,000 to the GW department or program that tallies the most online votes, which Brown said would help bolster the fund for future grants.

The GW Career Center was in the No. 2 slot for the challenge Tuesday, with about a week of voting to go. The first-place winner will earn $20,000, which could fund up to 20 unpaid internships.

Each student’s application includes a proposed budget, which lays out projected travel, housing and meal costs. The applications will be vetted three times by members of the University’s Career Services Advisory Council.

Peer institutions like New York University target students looking to gain experience in fields that typically don’t have the funds to pay interns, like public service and the arts, giving out $1,000 during fall, spring and summer semesters.

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