Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
About the Student Volunteer Program
Is the OSTP Student Volunteer program part of the White House Internship Program?
The OSTP Student Volunteer program is distinct from the White House Internship Program. Students in the White House Internship Program intern with the White House Office, a different component of the Executive Office of the President.
Where do Student Volunteers work? Can I work remotely?
Student Volunteers must be available to work on site in the White House complex in Washington, DC.
How many hours per week would I need to volunteer?
Student Volunteers are expected to commit to volunteering full-time for a minimum of 10 weeks during the Summer term. Student Volunteers for the Fall and Spring terms are expected to commit to a minimum of 16 hours per week.
Who is responsible for arranging housing for Student Volunteers?
Student Volunteers are responsible for their own housing arrangements.
My school is on the quarter system, and I will not be finished until after the start date of the program. Can I still apply?
Yes. If you are a quarter-system student, please make sure to identify yourself as such on the application and to indicate your estimated start date.
About the Application Process
I will be graduating at the end of this year, but plan to enroll in another program next term. Am I considered eligible?
While final determinations of eligibility are made by OSTP, students in either of the following two categories are generally eligible:
- Students enrolled at least half-time in an accredited educational institution.
- Students not concurrently enrolled but can demonstrate their gap in enrollment will not exceed five months. Example: College students who graduate in May and who can document their intent to begin a graduate program in August of the same year.
Are high school students eligible to apply?
When can I apply for future terms?
Students may apply early for future terms. OSTP considers applications roughly two months in advance of each term’s deadline.
Can students apply for more than one division of OSTP?
Yes, students may apply to multiple divisions of OSTP for the same term. Applicants should indicate their divisions of interest in the cover letter and Web form.
How many interns does OSTP accept each term?
The number of interns accepted varies by organizational needs and space availability.
I am not a U.S. citizen. Am I eligible? What if I have a green card or am applying for U.S. citizenship?
Applicants must be U.S. citizens to be eligible for the OSTP Student Volunteer program. Permanent residents and those seeking naturalization are encouraged to apply after they have obtained U.S. citizenship.
Are there suggested topics for the writing sample?
A writing sample on any topic that shows professional written communication skills and knowledge of grammar is appropriate.
Can I mail a hard copy of my application?
Only applications submitted via e-mail and Web form will be reviewed.