Summer Internship Funding

Please follow the process outlined below to apply for funding to support an unpaid or underpaid internship or similar experience that will take place primarily during the summer. Specifically, students can access funds through three different award programs:
1. Piper Center Internship Grant Award
2. Johnson Family Opportunity Fund Award
(students with high financial need)
3. PACON Grant Award
(students currently participating in the PACON program

Student Location Policy (Due to COVID-19)

Given the current situation with COVID-19 and the goal of the College to protect the health and safety of all students, students will not be eligible for funding for international internships unless the experience takes place in the student’s home country. This applies to the Piper Grant Award, Johnson Family Opportunity Fund, and the PACON Grant Award.

General Eligibility Guidelines
  • Class Year: Sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply for all awards. First years are eligible to apply for the Piper Center Grant Award but not the JFOF Award.
  • Minimum Weeks and Hours: The unpaid or underpaid internship or similar career experience generally requires a commitment of at least 8 weeks and 240 hours  (students in the performing arts who are participating in programs that require less than 8 weeks may also be eligible)
  • *Students are generally eligible to receive only one Piper Center Internship Grant Award during their St. Olaf career *Awards of $400 or less do not count towards the one award maximum.
  • Students must have high financial need to be eligible to apply for the Johnson Family Opportunity Fund Award (see details below)
  • Students who are completing internships or research on campus or who are employed by St. Olaf are not eligible for funding
  • Students are generally not allowed to receive funds to support internships, research experiences, or other travel to countries with State Department travel warnings (Level 3 or Level 4), unless the experience will take place in the student’s home country.
  • Students who will be participating in a St. Olaf Internship Program (e.g., Svoboda Legal Scholars, Health Scholars, Social Impact Scholars, Entrepreneurial Scholars, etc.) are not eligible to receive an award for another internship experience that takes place within the same term.
  • International students receiving funding could be subject to income tax withholding per the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the state of Minnesota:  For international students that are nonresident aliens for tax purposes, any income received may be subject to a 14% or 30% Federal withholding tax. Minnesota withholding tax may apply when your individual income tax returns are filed each calendar year but not at the time of payment. In some instances, if your tax residence country and the United States have a tax treaty agreement for scholarship/fellowship payments you may be able to claim the treaty and no tax may be withheld, income limits may apply. International students that are resident aliens for tax purposes will not have any tax withheld.
  • Frequently Asked Questions
Application Deadlines and Timeline

Priority Deadline: April 8th
Recipients notified: By April 20th

Secondary Deadline: May 5th
Recipients notified: By May 17th
Depending on available funds, it is possible that students who apply for this final deadline will receive less than the maximum funding. 

Required Virtual Internship Orientation: See here for more information.

Award Details: Piper Center Grant Award
  • Award Amount: Provides up to $2,000 towards eligible expenses associated with an unpaid or underpaid internship.
    • Compensation received from the employer will be subtracted from the award amount.
    • Depending on demand and available funding, students may receive slightly less than the amount they are eligible to receive.
    • Students who complete virtual internships will likely be eligible for a minimum award of at least $500 (even if eligible expenses are less than $500)
    • First Year students participating in Student Support Services (SSS) are also eligible to receive Prosper Award funding that provides an additional $1000-1500
  • Students are eligible to receive only one Piper Center Internship Grant Award during their St. Olaf career. Awards of $400 or less for experiences that took place during Summer 2020 or Interim 2021 do not count toward the one award maximum.
Award Details: Johnson Family Opportunity Fund Award
  • To be eligible for the JFOF Award, students must have a level of high financial need that meets specific criteria. Domestic students with an Expected Family Contribution of $10,000 or less, and “high need” international students, are eligible to apply. If you are uncertain about your eligibility, or believe you may have extenuating circumstances that may affect your eligibility, please reach out to Financial Aid at
  • Award Amount: Provides funding of up to $5000 to cover eligible expenses associated with an unpaid or underpaid internship PLUS as a “stipend” of up to $1500.
    • Criteria – Awarded on a competitive basis based on the following criteria: description of the opportunity, connection between the experience and the student’s career goals, resume, attention to detail and overall quality of the application.
    • Compensation received from the employer will be subtracted from the award amount.
    • Students who complete virtual internships will likely be eligible for a minimum award of $1000- 1500 (even if the student does not have any eligible expenses).
    • Example: A student who completes an unpaid internship with expenses of $2200 would be eligible to receive an award of up to $3700 ($2200 towards expenses + $1500 stipend). The actual award will be based on the strength of the application and the demand for funding.
  • Students must have completed their sophomore year to be eligible to receive the Johnson Family Opportunity Fund Award
  • Eligible students may receive a maximum total of $5,000 in JFOF funding during their time at St. Olaf, including both funding for Internships & Career-enhancing Experiences and Graduate/Professional School-related funding.
  • Academic Standing – Students must be in good academic standing and not on Academic Probation, when they apply for funding.
  • Eligible students who are seeking funding for graduate school expenses or other short-term career enhancing experiences (non internships) should apply for funding through the process outlined here

JFOF Application Assistance
Students are encouraged to reach out to Kristi Kehrwald Adair, Piper Center coach, with questions they have about the Johnson Family Opportunity Fund including Budget Reviews.  You may reach out to Kristi directly via email ( or schedule a virtual meeting with Kristi via Handshake.

Kristi Kehrwald Adair is holding virtual drop-in appointments at the following times.  You do not need to schedule an appointment ahead of time.  Just join the Zoom and Kristi will admit you to the meeting when it is your turn.

JFOF Drop-in Coaching Hours – Spring 2021 (Join via Zoom)

  • Wednesday, March 24, 2 pm – 4 pm
  • Thursday, April 1, 2 pm – 4 pm
  • Monday, April 5, 10 am – 12 pm
  • Wednesday, April 7, 10 am – 12 pm AND 2 pm – 4 pm (Rest Day)
  • Wednesday, April 14, 2 pm – 4 pm
  • Thursday, April 15, 3 pm – 5 pm
  • Monday, April 19, 10 am – 12 pm
  • JFOF DEADLINE #1 – Tuesday, April 20
  • Thursday, April 22, 2 pm – 4 pm
  • Wednesday, April 28, 2 pm – 4 pm
  • Tuesday, May 4, 2 pm – 4 pm
Academic Internship Policies
  • Students who choose to register for academic internship credit must follow guidelines and deadlines for Domestic Academic Internships or International Academic Internships
  • Domestic students: 
    Completing an academic internship is optional (unless it is required by the employer).
  • International students:
    You are required to register for academic internship credit and receive CPT authorization if you will be living in the U.S. while completing part or all of the internship (even if the employer is outside of the U.S.). You are not required to register for an academic internship if you will be living outside of the U.S. for the entire duration of the internship.
Application Process and Required Documents

When you apply for funding, you will be asked electronically to upload files that are required for your application, including documentation of your opportunity, your resume and budget worksheets. Each of these documents must be saved electronically in PDF format, and each document must be uploaded directly when you submit your application for funding.

BEFORE YOU APPLY – Prepare your application materials

STEP 1 – Secure a qualified opportunity (unpaid or underpaid internship, research experience, or similar career enhancing experience that requires a minimum of 4 weeks and 100 hours). Utilize the Piper Center for assistance.

STEP 2 – Secure written confirmation (letter or email in electronic format as a PDF) of your experience from your internship or research site.  The written confirmation must include the following:

  • be addressed to the intern and include the site supervisor’s name and title;
  • include a brief summary of your role/responsibilities (bullet points are sufficient);
  • include confirmation of start and end dates and time commitment;
  • appear on the letterhead of the employer/supervisor or be sent directly from your employer’s/supervisor’s work email.

STEP 3 – Prepare your Resume and save it electronically as a PDF.
If you need assistance starting or updating a resume, you can access Piper Center Resume Resources and have your resume reviewed through the Resume Review Program.

STEP 4 – Complete the Payment Authorization Form (this form authorizes payment by Direct Deposit)

STEP 5 – Complete a W-9  (only required if you are a U.S. citizen or U.S. resident alien)

  • Note that W-9 is not the form you completed for student employment
  • Complete a W-9 form  — for a signature, please either use an electronic signature or print and sign (see here for an example)
  • Save as a PDF
  • Upload to the secure document exchange after signing in with your St. Olaf email

STEP 6 – Complete an Internship Funding Budget Worksheet
Use the same worksheet when applying for internship funding through the Piper Center Grant Award, JFOF Award or PACON Award.


Complete the ONLINE APPLICATION by 11:00 pm on the application deadline.

As part of the online application, you will need to submit the following documents electronically (saved as PDFs)

  • Confirmation Letter or Email
  • Resume
After You Apply

Await Notification from the Piper Center
Within two weeks of the application deadline, all applicants will be notified via email whether or not they have been awarded funding.
Funding will not be awarded until mid-January.

For Award Recipients – Final Steps

Complete an online form that indicates that you would like to accept the award (you will receive a link to the form with your award notification)

Attend One of Two Virtual Internship Orientation Sessions

Terms of Agreement

All award recipients are expected to do the following:

  • Watch the virtual internship orientation
  • Complete the internship or experience as described in the application. Recipients who do not complete the internship as described in their application may be required to pay back part or all of the award.
  • Complete a post-internship survey
  • Write a thank you note to the donor who provided funding for your internship
  • Give permission for your internship site, title, location and dates to be included in the searchable St. Olaf Internship database.
Additional Questions

If after reviewing the information on this website you still have additional questions, please reach out to Kristi Kehrwald Adair <kehrwa1> if you have questions about applying for the Johnson Family Opportunity Fund and Nate Jacobi <jacobi> if you have questions about applying for the Piper Center Grant Award.


Funding is made possible through the Johnson Family Opportunity Fund, Boldt Fund for Career Enhancement, the Dalgaard/Korda Family, the Paul and Anne Finstad Family, the Mel George Family, the Salveson Family, and the Harry C. Piper Fund.