Through the generous donation from the John Crain Kunkel Foundation, the Kunkel Career Center offers students financial support (up to $4,500) for unpaid internships with nonprofits and community agencies.
Students must have an internship to submit an application.
Interested in applying but haven’t secured an internship yet? Access our career newsletter to find current opportunities from local partners or visit Nittany Lion Careers (NLC). You can also schedule an appointment with a career counselor through your NLC account.
Program Guidelines and Information
- All experiences and opportunities must follow Federal, State, and University policies on health and safety as well as Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines.
- Depending on date of submission, selected students may receive up to $4,500 dispersed in one or two equal installments - Please refer to timeline for additional details.
- Scholarships are not intended to replace wages. Instead, it is meant to help alleviate supplemental costs associated with pursuing an unpaid internship including, but not limited to housing, transportation, and food.
- This funding is eligible for both non-credit and for-credit internships. All majors will be considered. If for-credit, students are responsible to contact their academic department (Program Coordinator/Internship Coordinator) to make sure that they fulfill their requirements.
- Submission is not a guarantee of available funds or that a scholarship will be made.
- Scholarships are tied to a specific internship and cannot be transferred to new internships. If changing an internship after accepting scholarship for another experience, student will need to submit a new application.
Students are strongly encouraged to meet with career services before submitting their application to answer questions and/or receive feedback. Make an appointment here or stop by on Tuesdays and Thursdays during common hour, no appointment needed.
- Be in good standing with Penn State University.
- Be enrolled in classes prior to and after internship at Penn State, unless graduating in May 2023.
- Must provide an internship offer letter with a nonprofit or community agency.
- International students must reach out to the International Students Office to confirm eligibility and compliance. This includes information regarding CPT, academic credit, and potential tax implications.
- Undocumented & DACAmented students are eligible to apply.
- Must be completed between May - August 2023.
- Must be unpaid and with a nonprofit or community agency.
- Scheduled to complete minimum of 160 internship hours.
- Location must be within the United States.
- Internships set up by a third-party program fee are not eligible.
How to Apply
Students can apply by completing this form. Reviews will begin on April 16 and continue through May 16.
Documents required as part of the application include:
- Description of how the internship will positively impact the student’s career exploration and goals for their career (no more than 500 words). Please be thoughtful in your responses.
- Internship description.
- Internship offer letter, which should include the following:
- Name of organization
- Supervisor's name
- Job title of supervisor
- Address of the Internship Site (street, city, state, and zip code)
- Student name
- Start and end date of experience
- Type of internship (in-person, remote or hybrid)
- Total number of hours for the internship
- A statement that the experience is unpaid
- Signed and dated by organization’s representative
NOTE: A screenshot or other digital document including these criteria will also be accepted.
- You will be required to meet with the Office of Financial Aid to discuss potential impact on your financial aid package, if applicable.
- You will receive a copy of your submission to confirm that your application has been received.
A faculty and staff review committee will evaluate applications based on the following
- Evidence of effort in application.
- Total hours and type of internship.
- Thorough articulation of connection of internship with career exploration and goals.
- Disclosed financial needs and extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Round 1 - Please note that scholarship will be disbursed in two equal payments.
- Application deadline: April 16
- Decision communication to students: April 21
- Recipients meet with Financial Aid: Week of April 24
- Scholarship funding allocated:
- First payment: Week of May 15
- Second payment: Week of June 19
- Student will submit evaluation form and thank you note to donor by September 1.
- Round 2 (Final)- Please note that scholarship will be disbursed in one payment.
- Application deadline: May 16
- Decision communication to students: May 19
- Recipients meet with Financial Aid: Week of May 22
- Scholarship funding allocated: Week of June 19
- Student will submit evaluation form and thank you note to donor by September 1.
Scholarships will be awarded through the student's LionPATH account, in accordance with the University’s policy. If a student has an outstanding balance owed to the Bursar's Office at the time of awarding, the scholarship funds will apply to the amount due first. If the amount awarded exceeds the balance, or if there is no amount due at the time of awarding, the funds will be eRefunded. The method in which the student is refunded is dependent on the setting they've established on their billing portal. For students who enrolled in "eRefund" funds will be deposited into the checking/savings account listed on their portal. For those who did not elect to utilize the direct deposit option, a physical check will be mailed to their permanent address.
For further information contact the Office of Student Aid (717-948-6307 or [email protected]) or the Bursar’s Office (717-948-6009 or [email protected]).
Expectations and Requirements for Award Recipients
- Before the internship, you will meet with the Office of Financial Aid to discuss potential impact on their financial aid package, if applicable.
- Throughout your internship, you will remain in good standing with Penn State University and complete the internship indicated in the scholarship application. Contact Career Services immediately to discuss a situation in which you will not begin or complete your internship. Failure to successfully complete the entire internship experience may result in forfeiture of some or all of the scholarship award. Depending on the situation, you might owe back to the university the amount of scholarship funding received.
- After the experience, you will 1) complete an evaluation form and include a picture related to your internship, and 2) write a thank you letter to the donor. Please note that internship supervisors will be requested to submit an evaluation form for Career Services to verify that you completed the required hours. If the form is not returned, the internship will be considered incomplete. As stated above, depending on the situation, you might owe back to the university the amount of scholarship funding received.
How much funding will I receive?
Selected students may receive up to $4,500 dispersed in one or two equal installments. Amounts will be determined by the review committee. Scholarships are not intended to replace wages. Instead, it is meant to help alleviate supplemental costs associated with pursuing an unpaid internship including, but not limited to housing, transportation
I don’t have an internship yet but would like to find one. How can I find an internship?
Click here to get started! You can also schedule an appointment with a career counselor through your Nittany Lion Careers (NLC) account. Click here to learn how!
Do I need to have secured an internship by the time I apply?
Can I apply if my internship is paid?
No. For this scholarship, the internship needs to be unpaid and with a nonprofit or community agency.
Can I do two separate internships that equal the required length and number of hours?
No. The scholarship funding supports one internship of minimum 160 hours with a non-profit or community agency. This will help you explore your career goals more in depth and have a more impactful hands-on experience.
How can I confirm that my application was successfully submitted?
After you submit your application, you will receive a copy of your submission through your PSU email. This will serve as receipt confirmation. Please contact [email protected] if you don’t.
What happens if I don’t have an internship by the deadlines?
Unfortunately, we cannot accept incomplete or late applications. Employers may be willing to expedite their decision-making process if they are aware that you are applying for funding from your educational institution. Please follow up with the organization to indicate your timeline.
Will someone at Career Services be available during the summer in case I have questions?
Yes. Career Services will be open during the summer. Feel free to email at [email protected] or call at 717-948-6260.