The Columbia College Alumni and Parent Internship Fund (APIF) provides funding to Columbia College students participating in unpaid or low paid summer internships related to their career pursuits and/or academic studies.


The Columbia College Alumni and Parent Internship Fund has limited availability and the application process is highly selective.

The fund has been made possible thanks to the generosity of Columbia College alumni/ae and parents who desire to foster students’ participation in unpaid and low paid summer internships.

Columbia College students selected as Alumni and Parent Internship Fund award recipients must:

  • Complete a webshop prior to formally accepting their award; 
  • Submit a thank you letter to their donor upon completion of the internship; and
  • Complete a budget reconciliation detailing their summer expenses.

The Columbia College Alumni & Parent Internship Fund:

  • Supports undergraduate students who have secured unpaid or low-paying summer internships
  • Provides stipends ranging from $500 to $5,000 based on the nature of the internship and demonstrated student need
  • Provides support for non-profit, arts, government and community outreach internship experiences.

The Columbia College Alumni & Parent Internship Fund does not replace the Work Exemption Program (WEP). Undergraduate students who apply to the Columbia College Alumni & Parent Internship Fund are also encouraged, but not required, to apply to the WEP. 

Columbia College Alumni and Parent Internship Funds are provided by and supported by generous donors:

Alumni Summer Internship Fund
Andrew Hyman Fellowship in Public Service Fund
Anonymous Internship Fund
Anonymous Internship Fund
Clark Tandon Family Fund
Class of 1954 Internship Stipend Fund
Derek Wittner Internship Fund
Donald Margolis Internship Fund
EUGENE Group Korea Scholars Program Fund
Goldman Family Fellows Research Fund
Harold F. Linder Summer Internship Fund
Herman Family Foundation Summer Internship Fund
Ng Teng Fong Student Internship Fund
Rachelefsky Family Research Fellowship Fund
Robin D. and William N. Hubbard Internship Fund
Roger Lehecka Summer Internship Fund
Sharon and Peter Grossman Family Internship Fund
Silverman Family Internship Fund

Institutional funding through this program is made available with the sole intention of supporting students’ living expenses (such as housing, food and travel expenses).  This support enables students to participate in unpaid or low paid opportunities.  Funding is not provided in lieu of compensation for work and supervisors are required to acknowledge in the Employer Verification Form that participating organizations are compliant with the US Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and other applicable state and local legislation.


Here are a few suggestions to search for unpaid or low paid internships.


  • Currently registered Columbia College student
  • Rising sophomore, junior, or senior in good academic and disciplinary standing
  • Minimum 3.0 G.P.A.
  • A recipient of Columbia grant-based financial aid. If you are unsure if you receive grant-based financial aid, please contact the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid & Educational Financing.
  • Have secured an unpaid or low-paid (less than minimum wage) summer internship prior to the application deadline

    Application Process & Timeline

    Program availability

    The Columbia College Alumni & Parent Internship Fund accepts applications for summer internships only. 

    Application deadline

    Wednesday, April 12, 2017 at 11:59 pm. 

    Applicants notified of their status

    Wednesday, April 26, 2017

    Application Instructions

    To apply, complete the common CCE funding program application form.

    Students are encouraged to apply to all CCE funding programs for which they are eligible. Be prepared to upload: 

    • Resume — For resume help, please feel free to utilize CCE’s walk-in hours or schedule an appointment with a counselor. You can also review CCE’s Career Planning Guide.
    • Personal statement — see prompts below.
    • Budget form — Include all expenses necessary for the completion of your internship. 
    • Employer Verification form — This online form must be completed by your direct supervisor.  Please forward the link to your employer.
    • One letter of recommendation — Please forward link to you recommender. We will not accept letters of recommendation written by family members, friends, resident hall advisors, student leaders, members of student organizations or classmates. Your letter of recommendation must be on official letterhead, dated and signed.

    Personal Statement Instructions

    Your statement should be limited to three pages, double-spaced. Include the prompts outlined below in your essay to ensure you answer all questions thoroughly.

    Description of the opportunity

    • describe the organization, your role, and responsibilities;
    • describe your duties, projects to be completed and deadlines; and
    • explain why you want to intern at this organization.

    Learning Objectives

    • what do you intend to learn from this experience?
    • what are your goals and how do they align with your academic interests and/or career plans?


    • describe the supervision you will receive.
    • what kind of instruction, assistance and training will you receive and from whom? 
    • explain how and when you will be evaluated.


    • explain why you should be considered for this program; 
    • explain how  your plans will be affected if you do not receive APIF funding; and
    • address your committement to completing required webshops, submitting a donor thank you letter and a budget reconciliation.

    Late or incomplete applications and applicants who do not meet required criteria will not be considered.

    By submitting an application, you authorize the Center for Career Education to conduct academic, disciplinary and financial aid checks to confirm program eligibility and inform funding decisions. Certain University policy violations may disqualify you from consideration for the APIF program.

    Important Information for Students Planning Overseas Opportunities

    In accordance with the new Undergraduate International Travel Policy all students traveling overseas through a Columbia led, Columbia facilitated and/or recognized program must submit a school sponsorship application 4-weeks prior to departure.**

    Once you have received confirmation of your school sponsorship, log in to the Undergraduate Travel Web App to complete:

    • Online Pre-Departure Orientation
    • Sign the Assumption of Risk, Waiver, and Release form

    Additionally, all students must:

    • Register your travel (including side trips) through International SOS
    • Confirm that, while abroad, you will be covered by a health insurance policy that also provides coverage outside the United States for routine, urgent and emergency care.

    It is critical that you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the Undergraduate International Travel Policy and complete all steps outlined above. For related questions, contact

    *Graduate students participating in a Columbia led, Columbia facilitated and/or recognized program such as CUGO and STEP are also required to complete a school sponsorship application. This policy does not replace any additional requirements from a student’s home school. Graduate students, including Columbia Engineering graduate students, are encouraged to check in with their home school prior to finalizing any travel arrangements.

    ** Students applying to CCE funding programs with overseas opportunities who plan to travel in May should apply for school sponsorship by April 12th (the funding program application deadline). Submitting a school sponsorship application does not guarantee you will receive funding. Similarly receiving CCE funding does not guarantee approval of your school sponsorship application. Please note that school sponsorship applications related to CCE funding programs will not be approved unless the student receives a CCE funding award. Students who submit a school sponsorship application and do not receive a CCE funding award must withdraw their school sponsorship application unless they are also part of the CEO, STEP, or CU GO programs. In those cases, sponsorship applications should not be withdrawn.


    I need to confirm acceptance to my internship program prior to the APIF deadline. Can the APIF Committee review my application early?

    We cannot review your application prior to the APIF deadline. Applications are reviewed collectively by a committee who meets after the application deadline. The timeline for APIF applications is based on internship deadlines for the majority of students.

    I do not receive Financial Aid; however, I can demonstrate financial need. Can I still apply for an APIF award?

    To be eligible for the APIF program, you must receive Columbia grant-based financial aid. 

    Can I apply to both APIF and the Work Exemption Program?

    Yes. Eligible students are encouraged to apply to both programs. The WEP grant will cover your summer work expectation. The APIF award provides funding for your summer living expenses.

    My internship provides a modest stipend. Am I eligible to apply to APIF?

    Yes. The committee will consider funding students with low paid internships. “Low paid” is generally defined by a salary less than minimum wage. 

    If I apply to the Work Exemption Program, do I need to submit a separate application for APIF? Can I use the same materials?

    Yes, there is a common application form for all funding programs. Students complete one application form and can apply to all funding programs for which they are eligible. Students may submit one personal statement that addresses the funding program(s) to which they are applying.

    How competitive is the APIF program?

    The APIF program is highly selective and funding is limited. Interested students are encouraged to submit a strong, well-written personal statement that clearly articulates their internship and their goal in pursuing this opportunity.

    I received an APIF award last year. Can I apply again?

    As long as you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you can apply again for funding.

    Would you recommend submitting a letter of recommendation from a professor or an employer?

    Your letter of recommendation should come from the person who knows you best, can speak well of your academic and extracurricular accomplishments and who can comment on your character.

    Where have previous award recipients interned?

    In past summers, APIF recipients have interned locally, nationally and internationally at organizations such as The Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation in NYC, Boston Children’s Hospital, the Center for Microfinance in India, Engineers without Borders in Uganda and Ghana, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs in NYC, the Women’s Foreign Policy Group in Washington DC, and numerous laboratories and research centers on Columbia’s campus.

    Are there any fellowships that would cover expenses for a winter break and /or spring semester unpaid internship?

    Eligible students can apply to the Work Exemption Program for exemption of their in-school work expectation during the fall and spring semesters. The Fellowships Office also has a comprehensive database of opportunities and their staff are available to meet with students.

    Are there additional funding sources available to supplement an Alumni & Parent Internship Fund award?

    Yes, there are numerous fellowships and grants available to fund summer opportunities. The Fellowships Office also has a comprehensive database of opportunities and their staff are available to meet with students. Students could also reach out to professors, departmental administrators and teaching assistants to learn of fellowships and/or awards in their field of study.

    I am not eligible to apply to APIF. I really want to do an unpaid internship this summer; however, without funding, it will not be possible for me to pursue this opportunity. What do you recommend?

    The Fellowships Office also has a comprehensive database of opportunities and their staff are available to meet with students. Students could also reach out to professors, departmental administrators and teaching assistants to learn of fellowships and/or awards in their field of study.