Frequently Asked Questions – Summer 2021 Internship Funding


Is the Piper Center available to help me find an internship?
Piper Center coaches can help you explore and identify “hidden” opportunities that can be accessed through networking or by reaching out directly to employers. Please request a virtual appointment through Handshake.

Can I complete the internship or similar experience remotely?
Yes! With the current reality of COVID-19, we anticipate that some or all of many internships will be completed remotely.

Can I apply if I have not secured an internship and a confirmation letter or email by the application deadline?
We will not know if we are able to accept late applications until after we have reviewed the applications received by the final deadline. If you have secured an internship but have not received the confirmation letter by the deadline, please submit an application and attach a note about your situation and when you expect to receive the confirmation letter and upload to your application (in place of the confirmation letter).

What kinds of opportunities will be considered for funding?  My experience isn’t exactly an internship.
We have an inclusive definition of “internship” that includes various types of structured experiences that enable students to learn and contribute. We will look at your application in full, and particularly your responses to the question about how this experience will benefit your future career planning. In most cases, if the experience will help you explore your vocational and career interests and develop professional skills, and meets the other criteria, we are likely to accept it as appropriate.

Does my internship need to fulfill both the minimum hour and duration requirement (e.g., minimum of 240 hours over a minimum of 8 weeks)?
Generally, yes. However, if your experience is close to meeting the minimum requirements we encourage you to apply. There is also flexibility in how you meet these requirements. For example, it might make sense to combine two different, but related experiences to meet the minimum requirements. There is also more flexibility to support students in the performing arts who are participating in programs that last less than 8 weeks.

Can I receive funding if I already received the Piper Center Grant Award in the past?
Students who have previously received a Piper Center Grant Award are not eligible to apply for another Piper Center Grant Award. However, an award of $300 or less received for an experience that took place during Summer 2020 or Interim 2021 does not count towards the one award maximum.

Can I combine work at multiple sites?
Yes. Most recipients intern at one site, sometimes two, although in special circumstances it might make sense to combine more than two experiences. For example, a student could have a more traditional primary internship experience, but also include a part-time volunteer role or incorporate rotational shadowing as a secondary experience. Please include a confirmation letter or email from each site for the two most significant experiences. In your written statement please describe how each experience will contribute to your vocational and career goals.

Am I eligible to receive the Internship Grant Award if I previously received a different type of internship funding form the Piper Center?
Students who have received internship funding from the Johnson Opportunity Fund or one of the Piper Center cohort internship programs are eligible to receive the Piper Center Internship Grant Award.

What criteria will the selection committee be using when determining which applications to select for a grant award?
Applications will be considered if they meet all of the requirements describe on the website.
Piper Center Grant Award — The goal is to be able to support all applications that meet the requirements and demonstrate a direct connection to vocational and career goals.
Johnson Family Opportunity Fund Award — Awards will be distributed on a competitive basis. See the main page for more info about selection criteria.

Can I apply for an internship grant award to support a fall or spring semester internship?
Students cannot access the Piper Center Grant Award for a fall or spring internship. However, students who have demonstrated financial need  you may eligible to apply for funding to support a fall or spring internship through the Johnson Opportunity Fund.

Am I required to register for an academic internship for my experience?
Registering for academic internship is optional for most students.  It is not required in order to apply for Piper Center funding programs.  (These are completely separate processes.)   However, while not required for Piper Center funding, international students may need to register for an academic internship in order to receive CPT employment authorization.

Do I have the option to earn academic credit for my internship? If so, what is the process?
Registering for an academic internship is a different process with different deadlines. Please review the following websites for details: Domestic Academic Internship or International Academic Internship.

If I am awarded funding, when will I receive payment?
Students who are awarded funding will be asked to complete an online form to accept funding. The grant award will be processed through Accounts Payable, approximately two weeks after the form is completed.

What if I have any additional questions about the application process?
If you have a question that is not addressed on the website and the FAQ page, please email your question to Nate Jacobi <jacobi> and Kris Estenson <estensok>.

What other funding sources might I consider?
In addition to the sources listed on the St. Olaf Funded Internships page you can also explore ideas and sources described on the Outside Funding Opportunities page. You could also consider a fundraising letter-writing or email campaign to encourage family and friends to contribute to help cover your expenses. Many students have used GoFundMe (or similar sites) to raise money to support service based internships.