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Unpaid Internship Scholarship

The Fred S. Bailey Scholarship awards nearly $200,000 each year in undergraduate and graduate financial aid to University of Illinois students who demonstrate a deep commitment to service and action.

Award Description

The Unpaid Internship Scholarship program provides $1,500 scholarships for part-time unpaid internships and $3,000 for full-time unpaid internships.


Eligible Internship activities

Program development; fundraising; projects; generating marketing plans; designing posters; conducting studies and surveys; developing presentations; creating social media sites; preparing budgets and financial reports & more!

Ineligible Internship activities

Primarily administrative responsibilities such as mailings, data entry, etc.; internships at for-profit businesses (except where exemptions are granted by the Bailey Scholarship committee); internships without clear learning opportunities; or internships without supervision/mentorship.

Application Timeline

Summer 2024/Fall 2024 (For internships that occur between May 16, 2024- December 31, 2024)

Applications Open: March 1
Application Deadline: April 26

Application Requirements

  • Students must apply for funding for a specific internship. The Bailey Scholarship program does not place students in internships. Students may only receive one unpaid internship scholarship during their tenure as a UIUC student.
  • Student must be enrolled as an undergraduate student in good standing at the University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign campus during the current or previous academic semester.  Student need not be enrolled in classes at the time of the internship but must be working toward a degree at UIUC. Students who graduate prior to the start date of the internship are not eligible to apply. Graduate students are not eligible for this scholarship.
  • Internships may be for credit or no credit but must be an unpaid internship with a nonprofit organization or government agency. Unpaid internships at for-profit business are generally not eligible.
  • Students completing internships that are part of an academic program's graduation requirements (community health practicum, social work internship, student teaching, etc.) are eligible to receive the Bailey Unpaid Internship Scholarship. The Bailey Program Director highly encourage students in these programs to consider applying for the Bailey Undergraduate Scholarship, due February 28. For more information on the Bailey Undergraduate Scholarship program, click here.
  • Students will be asked to describe the learning objectives of the internships they are pursuing and how the internship is connected to their educational and career interests in activism or community development in the application essay section.
  • Preference will be given to unpaid internships in non-profit or government offices and for students who have not previously held an internship.  Students applying to intern at for profit businesses must demonstrate a direct relationship between the internship experience and future career goals in the non-profit or public sectors.
  • Students must demonstrate financial need. Scholarships are reported to the UIUC Office of Student Financial Aid and may affect aid packages. Please contact the Office of Student Financial Aid to determine if this scholarship negatively affects aid packages.

Program Requirements

  • All applicants must include a recommendation letter.
  • All internship scholarships are contingent on an official offer of employment from a nonprofit or government agency. Student must identify a "Site Sponsor" at the organization where the internship takes place.
  • Student is asked to discuss their learning objectives for the internship in the application essay. (Sample Learning Goals)
  • Student must submit a job description for approval to the Bailey Scholarship internship committee. Failure to obtain an approved internship job description will result in forfeiture of the unpaid internship scholarship award.
  • Site sponsor must agree to and sign a site Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the University YMCA and provide intern evaluations as requested by the Bailey Scholarship Director.  For more information on the role of the site sponsor, download the “Site Sponsor Information Sheet."
  • Student is expected to complete an short essay about what they learned during their internship experience that may be shared in a digital archive or sharing space/symposium as directed by the Bailey Program Director.
  • Student is encouraged to submit an updated resume incorporating their internship experience to the Career Center for review.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an Internship?

A full-time internship is defined as any internship that requires 30 or more work hours/week on average. A part-time internship shall be defined as an internship that requires less than 30 work hours/week on average but a minimum of 125 total work hours over the course of the internship.  

The minimum length of both part-time and full-time internships to be funded is 8 weeks.  

What can the funding be used for?

Awards are made directly to the student to cover educational expenses, not the organization sponsoring the internship.

What does my internship site need to do?

The organization or agency needs to review this information sheet.

The internship site also must sign an MOU. Here's a template.

I need some help writing learning goals and objectives.

Here are some tips for that.

Here are some examples.