5Cs Increase Summer Funding Available for Students

The number of internship funding grants offered by Pomona College this summer is close to double what the college offered last year, and other 5Cs also have significantly increased available summer funding for students. The grants are designed to help students live in an American or international city while working an unpaid or low-paid internship.

“Last year, we were able to fund about 25 students out of the 61 applicants. This year, we had about 115 applications, and we were able to fund about 46 to 47 students, which is almost double,” said Marcela Rojas, Internship Coordinator for the Career Development Office at Pomona.

The increase was made possible by the work of the Office of Advancement and an increase in donations, which come from donors, parents, and alumni, according to Rojas.

Each applicant proposes his or her own budget for summer needs. Recipients who are awarded the grants receive full funding for their internships.

“We look over the budget and make sure that it’s realistic. Based on their budget, that’s what we approve,” Rojas said. “Domestic internships are up to $4,000 and for international it’s up to $5,000. Either they get the full amount or the amount on their budget.”

Students, however, may only receive funding once during their four years.

Pitzer College also has increased the internship funding awarded to students.

In 2012, Pitzer “funded about 28 students with approximately $58,000. This year, we were awarded the funding to fund approximately 41 students in the amount of $65,000,” said Matt Donato, Director of Career Services at Pitzer.

Although Pitzer was unable to offer full funding to many students, it was able to fund a larger number of students.

“Even if we can’t meet a student’s entire financial need for internship support, we’ll try to at least support some part of their stated need. For about a third of the students who are awarded funding, we are able to provide 100 percent support. For the other two-thirds of the students, we tried to meet at least some portion of their need,” Donato said. “We’re really trying to support as many students as possible and allow them to take advantage of an opportunity that they might not otherwise be able to take advantage of.”

The grants given by the Pitzer Internship Fund are aimed to make unpaid internships more feasible for students.

“In general with a lot of the unpaid internships, they’re internships that provide really strong learning experiences and great opportunities for students to build their résumé,” Donato said.

Scripps College also has increased the amount of funding and number of grants given.

“This year, we were able to fund 30 students through internship grants totaling more than $97,000, a record for us on both counts,” said Vicki Klopsch, Executive Director of Career Planning and Resources at Scripps.

Harvey Mudd College has added a new internship funding source this summer, although the number of summer funding grants remains low due to the higher percentage of students accepting paid internships or jobs.

“The two summer internships that we have funds for are the Strauss Internship for Social Understanding and the Ben Huppe 2014 Memorial Internship for Sustainable World,” said Gabriela Gamiz-Gomez, Director for Community Engagement at HMC. “Those are the two internship opportunities that we have where a student could intern in a field of interest as a non-paid intern from the organization and then apply for funds to live off of over the summer.”

The Strauss Internship offers four funded internships, and the Ben Huppe Internship will offer two. HMC offers few internship funding opportunities because most of the internships students receive are paid.

“For the past seven years that I’ve been director, our students do paid internships. I would say the majority, if not all, of our internships are paid,” said Judy Fisher, HMC Director of Career Services. “The students also do research, and those are usually NSF-funded [National Science Foundation]. Even the students that do research at Mudd are paid. If it isn’t through an NSF, it’s through grants the college has. Very few Mudd students do unpaid summer work.”

Claremont McKenna College continues to provide internship funding for a large portion of students. 

“Across campus, there have been about 130 funded internships for the past few summers. Career Services funds the bulk of them, about 100 or so, and the institutes fill in the rest,” said Jason Jeffrey, Assistant Director of Career Services at CMC.