It is usually best to take unpaid internships while you’re in school so you could at least earn college credit. Working for absolutely nothing after you graduate can get demoralizing after a while. Many schools, however, are giving you another reason to be an intern, as they are developing ways to help students earn an income while involved in these programs, either making sure paid internships are available or offering stipends. Some schools are even trying to help low-income students.
At least five schools are helping students make bank!
Macalester College has offered subsidies for interns involved with social missions, such as those involved with Georgia’s health system. 50 interns were said to be involved in these internship programs.
“This is an opportunity to try on a career no matter what their interest or major or their economic situation is,” said Mindy Deardurff, dean of career development at the St. Paul campus, adding, “Especially for our students who have socioeconomic need, if we can get them in and let them try out some of the things they are so passionate about, it might get them over that hump of worrying about whether they can afford it.”
Unpaid interns at Colgate University have the alumni on their side, who have donated $4 million over the past five years to help students in unpaid, or even low-paid, internships. Reportedly, Colgate students can even develop their own grant proposals, complete with the ability to start their own internships with a host.
“We do allow students to do a self-designed summer,” added Michael Sciola, the associate vice president for institutional advancement and career initiatives.
University of Chicago
This school recent guaranteed their Odyssey Scholars will have a paid internship for their first summer. Reportedly, 232 students participated in this internship program.
Reportedly, this was done to prevent students from choosing internships over if they will be paid, essentially determining a career path over its convenience. “We don’t want our students to pick a field because it pays and overlook another field because it doesn’t pay for an internship,” explained Meredith Daw, executive director of career advancement at the University of Chicago, according to The New York Times.
Pace offered 4,000 internships last year, with less than half being unpaid. “We’re not trying to proselytize with these students, but we’d like their eyes to be open to the second and third sectors in our economy,” stated Phyllis Mooney, the executive director of career services.
Wanting to help promote careers in nonprofits throughout New York City, likeHousing Works and the Legal Aid Society, the school’s own Wilson internship program helps students earn $16 an hour, or $4,480 for eight weeks.
According to the student paper, The Hoya, “is working to develop a program that would provide low- and middle-income students with stipends to support their work at unpaid internships. Though the details about the program are limited, the funding would ideally allow these students to receive stipends commensurate to what they would earn if they took a job instead of the internship.”