Frequently Asked Questions
Do students need to have an internship when they apply for the grant?
No, roughly one third of applicants in past years have not had an internship secured when they apply. Recipients who don't have an internship at the time of selection must meet with an Internship Specialist at University Career Services. Recipients without an internship by May 31 forfeit their grant and it is awarded to a student on the waitlist.
Does University Career Services place SIGP students in internships?
No, UCS is available to assist students in identifying appropriate internships and coaching students on their internship applications. However, we believe students are best served through coaching and advice to build their skills and confidence in the job search rather than placement. This also widens the internship possibilities for students far beyond what the University would be able to secure.
How much of a factor does financial need play in the SIGP selection process?
The selection committee receives a rating of financial need from the NU Office of Financial Aid for each student under consideration for SIGP. This rating and the supporting information students supply in essay #3 of the application are heavily weighted. However, students must perform strongly on all aspects of the essay questions – self-reflection, specific internship learning goals and giving back to the University – in order to receive a grant. In the past few years over 50% of grant recipients rated in the 2 highest need categories. However, each year students who do not receive financial aid from Northwestern have been selected as SIGP Fellows.
What happens if students don't complete their assignments for the summer?
All SIGP recipients sign a contract with UCS that states they will fulfill all of the grant requirements. In extreme cases we can withhold all or a portion of their grant.
For Donors: Can my donation be designated for a specific recipient?
General funds provide the most flexibility for SIGP selection. However, SIGP recipients come from all schools within the University and represent a diverse range of interests so we are able to accommodate some specific requests from donors. Please contact Betsy Gill in UCS to discuss your request.
How competitive is SIGP?
The number of applicants and available grants vary by year, but applicants have always far out-numbered available grants. Each year close to 300 students apply for SIGP. In 2012, 1 in 5 students who applied were accepted into SIGP.