PLAS FAQ

Q: What is PLAS?

The Public Leadership and Service Fellowship (PLAS) provides students with funding to support the cost of living while they participate in unpaid internships.

Q: How much funding does a PLAS Fellow receive?

During the summer, a PLAS Fellow receives a stipend of $5,000 for a 10-week internship. If the internship is less than 10 weeks, his/her stipend will be prorated. Every student with an eleigble internship is guaranteed a PLAS Fellowship in the summer between his/her first and second year.

During the semester and based on available funding, students may be eligible for PLAS funding, and receive $2,500 for a 10-week internship.

Q: What is the qualifying criteria for an internship to be eligible for PLAS?

The internship must be with a non-profit or government organization and must be unpaid. The internship must last 10 weeks. If the internship lasts fewer than 10 weeks, the stipend will be prorated. If the internship is linked to your capstone project and occurring during a semester where you are receiving credit for your capstone work, you are not eligible to receive PLAS.

Q: Is PLAS funding competitive?

All Fels full-time MPA students are guaranteed access to PLAS funding during the summer, given that the internship fits the qualifying criteria. During the semester, there is limited funding available to students on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Q: How do I get started?

Once you’ve solidified your internship with an organization, email Cameron Miller with the following information:

• Organization Name
• Internship title and a very brief description of your role
• Start and end dates
• Offer letter or other documentation from the organization acknowledging your position

Q: Is PLAS funding taxed?

The PLAS stipend is reportable for all students, both U.S. citizens and foreign. For international students, it is both reportable and subject to withholdings. This treatment is consistent with the IRS tax code. 

Q: I'm preparing to file my taxes. What forms will I have to fill out and where do I find them?

International Students

International students receiving PLAS Fellowships must complete and submit Tax Form 1042-S. This form is prepared by the Penn Tax Office and generally sent to recipients in mid-March. If you have questions about this form or process, please contact the Penn Tax Office at 215-898-6291.

Domestic Students

Domestic students receiving PLAS Fellowships must complete and submit Tax Form 1099-misc. This form is prepared by Accounts Payable and generally sent in late January. If you have questions about this form or process, please contact Accounts Payable at 215-898-7272.

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Contact Information

Fels Institute of Government
University of Pennsylvania
3814 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104

Phone: (215) 898-2600
Fax: (215) 746-2829

felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu