Illinois Cooperative Work Study Grant

The Illinois Cooperative Work Study Grant (ICWS) is a program that matches employer contributions to provide pay for student interns.

The grant is designed to provide financial assistance to students who complete internships that would typically remain unpaid, such as through nonprofit organizations and small businesses. In turn, employers are able to offer paid internships and to recruit students who may desire, or even need, a paid internship. Benefits of the grant include expanding internship opportunities, reducing student loan reliance, and encouraging permanent employment in Illinois.


Because this grant is administered by the Illinois Board of Higher Education, only full-time UIS students who are Illinois residents can participate. The matching grant money is always dependent upon the renewal of the grant and available monies.  Grant funding is provided to offset half of the hourly rate for hiring an undergraduate intern.  All participating organizations must be Illinois based.  UIS encourages not-for-profit organizations and small businesses to participate.

This fiscal year’s hourly rate is $15.00 an hour with grant funding offsetting the expense by $7.50 and the employer offsetting the cost by $7.50 an hour.  In order to begin the process to select an intern, fill out the Intern Request form , and submit your internship opportunity on the University’s Career Connect site.  Once your request has been accepted, we will label your internship position as ICWS grant qualified so that students may find it.

Employers will not incur a funding commitment until submitting confirmation to host an intern for a given semester.


Students who hold full-time status and Illinois residency status are eligible for grant-funded paid internships.  Students also must be eligible to enroll in IPL 300, having completed the prerequisites of the course.  Students may apply to participate by completing the Grant/Sponsored Student Interest form.  Once accepted, students will be added to the Advising Canvas site where they will upload their resumes for review.  Further information about the IPL application process can be found on the Internship Steps page.  Check with your academic advisor or IPL if you are unsure of your eligibility. 

Note:  ICWS funded positions are paid through a matching grant.  Pay depends on the budget of the partnering agency and availability of grant funds.  Students participants will be considered part of the UIS student worker program.  Positions are not guaranteed to be available or paid.  The contact for each agency/business and an IPL Coordinator can provide you with more information.