First-Generation Scholarship Program

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The First-Generation Scholarship Program is a monetary award for first-generation students who secure unpaid summer internships.

This program supports first-generation students looking to gain experience to complement their academic coursework. Students will be selected through an application and interview process. All internships must be a minimum of six weeks during the summer. The program awards a $2,000 scholarship to selected students.


In collaboration with our First-Generation Mentor Program and campus partners, we are excited to offer this scholarship opportunity for first-generation students who secure unpaid summer internships. This initiative supports students looking to gain hands-on experience. Students will “test drive” a career field and enhance their professionalism through a career-oriented internship.


  • Currently enrolled first-generation college student in an undergraduate degree program at USC with a minimum 2.8 GPA
  • Graduation date between December 2018 – May 2021
  • Secured internship by 12:00 pm on Friday, April 6, 2018
  • Must work at least six weeks at an organization, in any field or industry
  • Must have written proof of internship, including intern supervisor name/contact information

Application Process

Applications and supporting materials must be completed and submitted in connectSC, Job ID #146228, by 12:00 pm PST on April 6, 2018. Candidates will be notified via email by April 13, 2018 if they are selected for an interview with the USC First-Generation Scholarship Selection Committee.

Please complete a three-step application process:

  1. Complete an Online Application Form
  2. Submit supplemental documents within connectSC, Job ID#146228
    • Current resume
    • STARS Report (Available on OASIS)
    • Personal Essay: a one-page, single spaced (one-inch margins) narrative explaining your current academic program, why you are interested in the USC First-Generation Scholarship Program, and how you think this internship experience will enhance your undergraduate experience and have an impact on your future. Essay must be typed in no smaller than 10-point font.
      • Be sure to demonstrate your financial need.
    • Copy of your internship job description from your organization or supervisor
  3. Submit one (1) letter of recommendation from a USC faculty or staff member via email to Letters from peers or family members will not be accepted. USC business card and/or department letterhead stationery are required. It is the student’s responsibility to submit this recommendation prior to the deadline.

Selection Process

Students will be selected based on their application, faculty or staff recommendation letter, and interview. Students are expected to demonstrate strong written and verbal communication skills.

Student Testimonials

I was given the opportunity to intern at the U.S. Department of Education with the help of the First-Generation Scholarship. This scholarship helped me fund my stay at Washington D.C. and not worry about financial expenses. Therefore, I got to really experience D.C. and my internship to the fullest. Having had the opportunity to work at the U.S. Department of Education reassured me that I still want to make a difference in education through nonprofits.

-Roxanna; Major: Non-profit Leadership and Management; Class of 2018

I had the privilege to embark on a journey of discovery and career advancement with a resource that I was so graciously given by USC’s generous scholarship fund. Without this incredible scholarship, my financial limitation would have impeded my ability to partake in my summer internship in Los Angeles City Hall. Being able to work for Los Angeles City Hall has catalyzed my ambition to pursue further work in this field, and there are very few opportunities that could have led to this realization.

-Carlos; Major: Economics and Mathematics; Class of 2018


Call us at (213) 740-9105 or email
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