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Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I apply?

  • Check the eligibility requirements before completing your application.
  • The following application materials are due at noon on Friday, April 12, 2019:
  • We cannot accept applications after the due date, because of deadlines required by the Financial Aid office.
  • We also cannot accept incomplete applications. Your internship must be secured prior to applying, since employer verification is part of the application.

What is the Unpaid Internship Scholarship?

  • We offer the scholarship to students completing unpaid summer internships, to reimburse students for the costs of food, rent, tuition for summer internship course, and transportation. 
  • While we encourage employers to offer paid internships whenever possible, and this scholarship is not meant to replace payment, we know that many organizations, especially in the government and non-profit fields, only offer unpaid internships.
  • Since we strongly encourage all students to gain experience through internships, we created the Unpaid Internship Scholarship to assist students who may not be able to participate in unpaid internships otherwise, due to financial constraints. 

What is the scholarship amount?

  • Scholarship amounts vary from $1,000-$5,000 based on the budget you provide.
  • Funds are not able to be awarded for tuition for additional classes you wish to take during the summer, beyond the course that gives you academic credit for the internship.

Who is eligible?

  • Current degree-seeking undergraduate JMU students who already have an internship secured for the summer
  • Minimum 2.5 overall GPA
  • You must have at least one fall or spring semester remaining at JMU after the summer you intern in order to qualify. 
  • You must enroll in UNST 480 or a course within your major (if one exists) for at least one hour of internship credit in order for funds to be disbursed.

Who is not eligible?

  • Students taking courses at JMU for one semester but seeking degrees from other universities are not eligible.
  • If you are graduating (walking) in May yet will be taking classes during the summer, you do not qualify for the scholarship.
  • Majors that require students to intern after graduation are not eligible, as they do not fulfill the guidelines we have set. If you are in one of these majors and want to work in an unpaid internship before you graduate, you may apply for this scholarship, however you must complete another internship at the end of your coursework in order to comply with major requirements.
  • Research or placement programs that require you to pay a fee to obtain an internship will not be considered.
  • If you previously were granted an unpaid internship scholarship through Career & Academic Planning, you are not eligible to apply or receive the scholarship again.
  • If you are working in an internship that provides a stipend or a stipend upon completion of the internship, you are not eligible. The scholarship is for unpaid internships only.
  • Students interning at companies/organizations that do not follow JMU’s non-discrimination EEO policy are not eligible.
  • Students volunteering with companies/organizations that will not have specific duties or projects to complete or supervisors to report to are not eligible.
  • Students wanting to create their own internships, without any supervision by someone in an company/organization they are working for, are not eligible.

What are the internship requirements?

Internships must be:

  • Unpaid
  • At least 8 weeks long and 30-40 hours a week, or a minimum of 240 hours
  • Completed during the summer months
  • Secured prior to applying (an employer verification form is a required part of the application)

Do I need to receive academic credit?

  • You must be enrolled in at least one credit hour of summer internship credit, as funds are distributed via Financial Aid. Funds will be applied toward any outstanding bill first, and you can elect how to receive the remainder.
  • If your major offers an internship course, you will be encouraged to take that course.
  • If your major does not offer an internship course for credit, or if you are ineligible to take the internship course, you may be able to take the one-credit online internship elective course UNST 480 offered through CAP.
  • This course is by instructor permission only. Contact Jennifer Rupert at for more information about this course.

Can I intern abroad?   

  • An international internship must be coordinated through a JMU study abroad program, or you must be getting academic credit through a JMU internship course.
  • Students working in summer internships abroad are encouraged to apply, however they must meet the same hourly criteria in order to qualify.
  • There are many private companies and other universities that offer internships abroad to students. These programs are not eligible due to the high fees required to participate.

What is the selection process?

  • Although multiple scholarships are awarded, the application is selective, and applicants are not guaranteed a scholarship on the basis of applying.
  • Our selection committee consists of CAP staff, as well as other internship coordinators throughout the university.
  • All criteria, including GPA, applicability of internship to career goals, and faculty recommendation are considered.
  • Financial need is considered, but is not required to apply.

What do I do after the internship?

  • Upon completion of the internship, you must complete a reflection paper that includes an overview of your responsibilities, what you learned through the experience, and how the internship impacted your career plans.
  • Students may also be asked to serve on internship panels that CAP sponsors in the future.
  • If you receive grants and scholarships that total more than the cost of tuition and books, you must report the excess as income on your tax return. Consult your tax booklet or accountant for more information.

How are these scholarships funded?

The money for the Unpaid Internship Scholarships comes from the revenue generated by our Campus-Wide Career Fairs. Employers pay a registration fee to attend these events, and we use a portion of these funds to give back to students to assist them in gaining valuable experience through internships.

Sites that Hosted Scholarship Winners

American Shakespeare Center
Blue Ridge CASA for Children
Cultivating Community
Doomsday Entertainment - CA
Eliza Hope Foundation/Jump Start Social Skills Program
Harmelin Media
Harrisonburg Downtown Renaissance
Hungry Marketplace, Inc.
INOVA Medical Group
JMU Athletics
JMU Center for Global Engagement
Key West Assoc. of Realtors
Live Nation
Mercado Global
On The Road Collaborative
Petite Palm, Haiti
Planned Parenthood
Primary Wave Music Company - CA
Sentara-RMH South Main Health Center diabetes education
Sunnyside Retirement Community
TEAN/ Sports Medicine Australia/ WAFL
U.S. House; Committee on Oversight & Reform
US House of Representatives Office of Jennifer Wexton
USC Brain & Creativity Institute
VA Dept. of Game and Inland Fisheries
Virginia Beach Justice Initiative
Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community/VMRC
West Point Football Operations/Recruiting
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

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