A guide to what college rankings don't tell you.

WWTL Internship

The American Council of Trustees and Alumni (ACTA) seeks accomplished, high-energy undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with excellent research, writing, and communication abilities to apply for fall, spring, and summer internships.

All fellows and summer interns receive a competitive stipend and participate in a special series of seminars with ACTA staff and board members. Past seminar speakers have included Dr. Bruce Cole, former chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities; Dr. Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute; Ross Douthat, opinion editorial columnist for the New York Times; Dr. Richard K. Vedder, distinguished professor emeritus of economics at Ohio University; Arthur Rothkopf, president emeritus of Lafayette College; Stephen Joel Trachtenberg, president emeritus of The George Washington University; and Greg Lukianoff, president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education.


  • Performing extensive curricular research on colleges and universities for the What Will They Learn?® project
  • As appropriate, performing duties related to other ACTA research projects
  • Assisting the Program Manager for Curricular Improvement with preparation of the online guide (WhatWillTheyLearn.com).
  • When time permits, writing for ACTA outreach efforts such as the ACTA newsletter, Inside Academe, or pieces for ACTA’s blog, The Forum.

Alumni of the internship program have returned to work at ACTA and other Washington-area policy organizations.

Application Requirements

ACTA will hire on a rolling basis. Applications will be reviewed for fall, spring, and summer internships until all positions are filled.

To apply for any internship or fellowship, please email, in one PDF file:

  1. A one-page resume. 
  2. An unofficial transcript.
  3. A letter of recommendation from someone who has taught you and can comment on your academic and analytic abilities. 
  4. A one-page cover letter explaining why the internship is of interest to you and why you should be selected for it.

All applications and questions should be directed to Nathaniel Urban at nurban@GoACTA.org

"A liberal arts education is not meant for students to focus exclusively on a single career path, but rather to foster the skills and habits to perform well in multiple areas, as well as the ability to examine one's own life from a perspective outside of one narrow professional niche." 

— Nathaniel Urban, Associate Director of Curricular Improvement

"The amount of autonomy and ownership over one's work given at ACTA is unparalleled in other internships. This is not a "coffee and copy machine" type of position, but one that gives you direct responsibilities and the opportunity to connect with one of the most knowledgeable and passionate staffs in Washington, DC."

— Caroline Toth, ACTA Intern 2017-19