Person writing at a communal desk

Great Lakes Commits $2.1 Million to Help 16 Community Colleges Create Internship Programs for Low-Income Students

Grant Goal: Funding the creation of 1,000 paid internships at two-year colleges

—Internship opportunities can increase the likelihood that a student will both graduate and find a good job after graduation. However, many internships are unpaid, so low-income students who need a paying job can't afford the opportunity and miss out on developing professional skills and networks available to their wealthier peers.

This is an issue Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates first started to address in 2013, funding the creation of paid internships for low-income students at four-year institutions with its Career Ready Internship Grant. Great Lakes has seen firsthand the benefits of paid internships at these institutions. Previous grantees reported that 98 percent of participating students either graduated or continued in their academic programs the following semester. Great Lakes is now seeking to learn best practices for establishing and administering paid internship programs at two-year colleges.

In an expansion of its Career Ready Internship Grant to two-year institutions, Great Lakes is awarding a combined $2.1 million to 16 community and technical colleges across Arkansas, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Ohio and Wisconsin.

Grant funds will cover internship wages and other expenses as the grantees partner with employers in their communities. The colleges will also build their internal capacity to recruit students, match them with available internships related to their academic programs and provide them the support they need to succeed.

"We're pleased to see that these 16 colleges are dedicated to connecting students from low-income backgrounds to paid internship opportunities," said Richard D. George, President and Chief Executive Officer of Great Lakes. "Our goal with this grant is to learn how two-year schools can build a self-sustaining paid internship program. We hope that the knowledge we gain will serve as a blueprint that can be used to create successful internship programs at community colleges across the nation."

Meet our 2017-2018 Career Ready Internship Grant Recipients »


News Releases

Great Lakes Donates $115,000 to 10 Adopted Schools in Local Communities
12/22/2017


Great Lakes' ScholarNet for Private Loans More Widely Used Than Ever Before
11/13/2017


Great Lakes Funding Development of Online Support Community for College Freshman Women
10/30/2017


Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from Summer Melt Texting Initiative
10/25/2017


Great Lakes Awards $525,000 in Anniversary Grants in Nine Communities Where Employees Live and Work
09/01/2017


Completion Grants Remove an Obstacle for At-Risk Students Nearing Graduation
08/16/2017


New Initiative Connects Remediation Reforms and Guided Pathways to Boost Student Success
08/15/2017


Great Lakes Awards $1,000 Scholarships to 200 Ohio Apprentices with Financial Need
06/29/2017


Great Lakes Awards $7.2 Million to Launch Emergency Grant Programs at Four-Year Colleges
06/15/2017


Great Lakes Sparking Change in Scholarship Delivery
06/12/2017


Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes
06/05/2017


Statement from Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates Regarding Student Loan Collection Fee Policies
03/21/2017


200 Wisconsin Apprentices with Financial Need Awarded $1,000 Scholarships from Great Lakes
03/16/2017


Great Lakes Releases 2016 Philanthropy Report Highlighting $21.9 Million in Grants Awarded
03/09/2017


Great Lakes Invites Four-Year Colleges to Apply for Successful Emergency Grant Program
01/26/2017


USA Funds Transfers Ownership of Nation's Largest Guarantor to Great Lakes
12/07/2016


Great Lakes Commits $2.1 Million to Help 16 Community Colleges Create Internship Programs for Low-Income Students
12/01/2016


Great Lakes Commits $2.6 Million to Keep At-Risk Near-Completers on Track to Graduation
11/15/2016


Blackhawk Technical College Students Borrow $700,000 Less, Regain Financial Aid Eligibility
10/21/2016


Achieving the Dream to Enhance Coaching Services with $1 Million Great Lakes Grant
09/15/2016


Great Lakes National Scholarship Awards Over $2 Million to Support College Access
08/24/2016


Great Lakes Awards $1.5 Million to CCRC to Support Guided Pathways Reform in Ohio
08/18/2016


Successful 'New Mathways Project' Expands into Arkansas to Increase Math Achievement
07/14/2016


Great Lakes Career Ready Internship Grant Opportunity Now Open to
Two-Year Colleges

05/19/2016


Study on Student-Faculty Interactions Finds Multi-Channel Communication is Key
05/11/2016


Great Lakes Shares Lessons Learned from 2014-2015 Career Ready Internship Grant Partners
04/21/2016


New Great Lakes Grant Opportunity Invites Applicants to Address Barriers Preventing Near-Completers from Earning Degrees
04/05/2016


Student Loans of North Dakota to Transfer Portfolio to Great Lakes
04/01/2016


Great Lakes Releases 2015 Philanthropy Report Detailing $28.5 Million in Commitments
03/31/2016


200 Wisconsin Construction and Industrial Trade Apprentices Receive $1,000 Scholarships
03/09/2016


Great Lakes Shares Best Practices from Three-Year Emergency Grant Program
02/25/2016


Application Period for Great Lakes National Scholarship Begins February 15
02/15/2016


Great Lakes Funds New Emergency Grants Shown to Boost Community and Technical College Completion
12/10/2015


University of Pittsburgh Streamlines Private Student Loan Processing, Improves Student Service
11/19/2015


Great Lakes' Free Tool Adds Early Engagement Outreach Campaigns for Schools
10/27/2015


Great Lakes' Commitment to Producing More Undergraduate STEM Degrees Now Reaches $10.7 Million
10/22/2015


Great Lakes Launches Updated Education Philanthropy Website
10/15/2015


Great Lakes Commits Record $12 Million to Fund 7,000 New Paid Internships for College Students with Financial Need
10/08/2015


Great Lakes CEO Accepts White House Invitation to Join the College Promise Campaign Advisory Board
10/01/2015


200 Wisconsin Apprentices Will Earn $1,000 Scholarships to Purchase Tools for Their Trades
09/17/2015


400 MPS Grads Eligible for $5 Million in College Scholarships from The Degree Project®
08/13/2015


Great Lakes Introduces Newly Expanded Program to Increase Community College Graduation
07/09/2015


Great Lakes Shares Results of Applicant and Grantee Perception Survey
05/19/2015


100 Schools Using Great Lakes' Free Outreach Tool to Help Students by Connecting Them with Their Servicer
05/18/2015


Great Lakes Commits $28.6 Million During 2014 to Promote College Access and Completion
05/14/2015


Great Lakes Expands Grants for Colleges Committed to Making Internships More Equitable
04/30/2015


Great Lakes Commits $4.2 Million to Prepare More Students for College Math & English
04/23/2015


Great Lakes' Free Tool Helps Schools Improve Repayment Success for All Their Student Loan Borrowers
02/20/2015