Government grants & internships

Updated March 23, 2017

Every year, the federal and state governments allocate both grant money and internship opportunities to students. The grant awards help students offset their educational costs, especially given the skyrocketing increase in tuition fees. And the internships enable students to gain valuable work experience with a respected employer. For selected candidates, these opportunities are a stepping stone in the right direction for their future career goals.

National SMART Grant

The SMART Grant refers to the Science and Mathematics Access to Retain Talent program. This federal government grant is offered to college juniors and seniors by the U.S. Department of Education every year. Applicants can be either part-time or full-time students with financial need. They can be completing a liberal arts program or pursuing one of the following majors: computer sciences, mathematics, technology, engineering or a critical foreign language. Applicants are also required to have at least a 3.0 grade point average and if selected, can receive up to £2,600 for their education.

Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant

Students aged 24 and younger can apply for the Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grant. The grant is specifically available to those whose parents died serving the country in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 2011. Qualifying candidates can receive this award regardless of their financial need. To qualify, candidates must have been enrolled in college at the time of their parent's death. Those selected will receive an amount equal to the maximum amount given for the Federal Pell Grant for the application year. In 2010, the maximum Pell Grant award was £3,607.

Targeted Small Business Assistance Program

The Targeted Small Business Assistance Program is available to certain business owners in Iowa. These businesses are owned by the disabled, minorities and women, and they must first be certified as targeted small businesses (TSBs). To be eligible, a business must be a for-profit enterprise with annual gross sales of less than £2 million. Additionally, it must at least be 51 per cent owned, operated and managed by disabled persons, minorities or women. TSBs can access up to £32,500 in loans or equity grants of up to £32,500. Grants are awarded if the business owner has at least 10 per cent of the start-up costs to invest.

E.I.A. Summer Internships

Each year, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) offers summer internships to college students. The agency especially seeks those pursuing majors in business, economics, engineering, finance, mathematics, operations research, statistics and Web development. Interns assist EIA staff with daily operations including researching domestic and international energy issues, working on the agency's website, preparing surveys and reports and creating modelling systems. There is also the possibility for students to earn course credit during their internship.

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About the Author

Sydelle John is a lawyer who started writing professionally in 2007. She has written for the Guardian's Comment is Free and Pambazuka News, which focuses on pan-African issues. John has a Juris Doctor from the George Washington University Law School and a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Vassar College.