Northwestern Career Advancement gives nearly 300 students grants for unpaid internships

Tyler Pager, Campus Editor

Northwestern Career Advancement gave out a record-breaking 277 grants of $3,000 to students for unpaid summer internships.

This is the first time more than 100 students received grants from the Summer Internship Grant Program, which began in 2007. Last year, 70 students received grants.

“We know that many students are going into very important career fields in areas such as nonprofits or doing experiences abroad (and) probably won’t get funded for those experiences,” said Mark Presnell, NCA’s executive director. “We’ve certainly seen the rise in the number of applications as students begin to appreciate the importance of internships as well as exploring different career fields that don’t traditionally pay for summer interns.”

The program has grown significantly since 2007, when 90 students applied for grants and only 10 students received funding. This year, 411 students applied for SIGP grants compared to last year’s 287 applications.

Additionally, the amount of money offered to students rose from $2,500 to $3,000. Presnell said NCA expanded the program after they received increased funding from the President and Provost offices and alumni donations.

Presnell said students were previously only able to obtain a SIGP grant once during their undergraduate years. However, NCA took away that restriction, which he thinks resulted in more applications.

“We did hear from students that a lot of them would want to wait until their junior year to apply for SIGP because they wanted the best shot at getting the award,” he said.

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