The Great American Internship Swindle

By Chatzky, Jean | Newsweek, November 28, 2011 | Go to article overview

The Great American Internship Swindle


Chatzky, Jean, Newsweek


Byline: Jean Chatzky

Colleges often require students to work unpaid internships--and pay for the credits themselves. How to stop the insanity.

The cost of college is going up--again--but not in the way you think. Sure, tuition at both public and private colleges and universities is hitting record levels across the country. But then there's the matter of paid internships. Not the ones that pay you--the ones that, one way or another, you end up paying for yourself.

Here's the deal. Employers like to see internships on the resume. Three quarters of those surveyed by the Association of American Colleges and Universities said they want students to obtain real-world know-how "through internships and other hands-on experiences." Colleges and universities are listening. According to research firm InternBridge.com, 60 percent of students say internships are now mandatory for graduation at their schools. The result: more than half the class of 2011 had at least one internship, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

The high demand for internships in this gloomy economy ends up translating into lots of free labor for companies. Nearly half the 2011 grads were not paid for their work. At not-for-profits, that's OK (at least in the eyes of the law). But when it comes to for-profit companies, it's an issue. The Department of Labor has six conditions that must be met for unpaid internships at for-profit companies to be legal. The internship has to benefit the intern (not the company), for one thing. The intern can't displace a regular employee, for another. The biggie, however, is that the internship must be "similar to training ... given in an educational environment." That's been interpreted to mean unpaid internships at for-profit companies are legit as long as students receive academic credit.

But to get those credits, in more than 70 percent of cases, according to InternBridge, you'll generally have to pay your university for them--often substantially. At Georgetown University, the cost per credit hour is $1,705. At William & Mary, it's $286 for in-state students, $985 for out-of-staters. Considering that a single course is usually three or four credit hours, that's a hefty chunk of change to work for free. And that doesn't count the cost of finding housing and transportation in the city where your internship is based. "If you have to contribute to your family's income, it's just not economical," says Ross Perlin, author of Intern Nation. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Great American Internship Swindle
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.