Career Ready Internship Grant

Internships offer college students numerous benefits, but too often they are unpaid—and out of reach for low-income students.

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Grant History


In 2014, we awarded $5.2 million in grants to 40 colleges and universities in Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. They created nearly 2,400 paid internships specifically for low-income students.

We set out to learn more about the potential of internship programs, including 1) do internships keep students on track for graduation and 2) what are the best practices for the successful administration of an internship program.

Our partner colleges dug in and went to work for their students—making contacts, securing new positions and providing us with valuable feedback on the design, launch and management of meaningful internship programs.

Open Section Recipients

"My internship gave me skills I know employers are looking for and experiences that I can draw from when I interview."

- Hamline University Intern Cindy Chooraman

"My internship was an amazing experience and I was able to do it without being stressed financially."

- Viterbo University Intern Caley Griswold

2014-2015 Career Ready Internship Grant Report

Read About Best Practices from our 2014-2015 Grant Partners

The 40 partner colleges we worked with gave us numerous insights into running successful internship programs. This is a valuable resource for colleges in our 2015-2018 Career Ready Internship program, or anyone interested in creating or improving a paid internship program of their own.


Our pilot program provided $2.5 million in funding to 19 Wisconsin colleges and universities.

Colleges reported the grants spurred them to expand relationships with their area employers—they created nearly 1,300 internship opportunities for their students. And 98% of the students either graduated or re-enrolled in their program. These results showed us there was potential for significant expansion.

Open Section Recipients

"Paid internships benefit students, colleges and employers. Students gain meaningful workplace skills and are more likely to earn degrees and use their internship experiences to help secure good jobs upon graduation. Colleges will see increased graduation and job placement rates, and employers gain a pipeline to fresh talent. It's a win-win-win."

- Richard D. George, President & Chief Executive Officer, Great Lakes

October 19, 2017

Summer Melt Texting Initiative Lessons Learned

Find out what it takes to launch a successful program

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Career Ready Internship Grant Closing Report

Learn best practices from our grant partners

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Dash Emergency Grant Closing Report

Learn best practices from colleges with successful programs!

Read the Report