Internships have displaced casual hourly jobs as the more typical summer experience for college students — one that may provide valuable professional contacts or even lead to full-time employment after graduation. In a survey by Vault.com, which tracks student employment trends, 62 percent of college students planned to do an internship this summer, up from 41 percent two years ago.
But as many as half of all internships are unpaid or low-paid, career counselors say. Some students even effectively end up paying tuition to do unpaid internships because some companies, concerned about labor laws, require students to receive academic credit for the experience. And so college administrators nationwide have become more concerned about access to internships at all socioeconomic levels. The solution, they say, is to provide financial assistance.
“It’s all about equality,” said Lanch McCormick, the associate director of undergraduate career services at Yale, which also subsidizes summer internships. “It’s all about being able to offer these opportunities to all students.”That's right, and that's great. But what about asking companies in these industries to contribute, too?