Help calculate the cost of unpaid internships

If you're reading this while interning for credit, it could be costing you your own money


Blair Hickman
October 2, 2013 11:44PM (UTC)
This originally appeared on ProPublica.

ProPublicaAs part of our investigation into the U.S. intern economy, ProPublica is taking a closer look at the role colleges and universities play in promoting unpaid internships. And we want your help calculating the academic cost of these positions.

With proper supervision, off-campus internships can be invaluable. Employers prefer to hire grads with relevant work experience, according to one recent survey. Many who’ve shared their stories with us so far have said the connections and skills they gained at their internships were far more valuable than reading a textbook.

Advertisement:

However, as Kara Brandeisky reports, getting academic credit for an internship doesn’t necessarily make it legal. Some colleges have promised to “take great pains” to ensure students aren’t exploited. But ultimately, students have no way to compare the cost and relative quality of schools’ internship programs – and some colleges are collecting tuition for unpaid internships that don’t meet federal guidelines.

To open the door on the murky world of college internship programs, we want to create a tool that lets people compare the cost and relative quality of schools’ internship programs: How much tuition does it cost to be an unpaid intern? How much would students have made if they’d been paid? What do students say about the quality of the program – and how does it compare to similar programs at other schools?

But to do this, we need your help. We're crowd-sourcing the tuition cost of internship programs at journalism departments across the country. Our College Internships Cost Calculator will compare the cost details, and let students rate and review their experiences.

Sign up: Adopt a School

We’re looking for college newspapers, student journalists or other volunteers to help us verify intern program cost details. We will publish results, along with any stories you report as a result, in our College Internships Cost Calculator.

Advertisement:

To sign up, click "Adopt a School" below. We'll add you to our list, and send you further instructions on the research and reporting. We'll also be hosting an online project hangout on Monday, Oct. 21 at 3 p.m. ET to review the assignment.

If you have any questions, email GetInvolved@propublica.org

Adopt a School Report Your Results

For more from our internships investigation, see our latest report on Northwestern's journalism program offering students internships without paychecks, or follow our new Tumblr on the Intern Economy.


Blair Hickman

MORE FROM Blair Hickman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

College Higher Education Propublica Student Debt Unemployment Unpaid Internships

BROWSE SALON.COM
COMPLETELY AD FREE,
FOR THE NEXT HOUR

Read Now, Pay Later - no upfront
registration for 1-Hour Access

Click Here
7-Day Access and Monthly
Subscriptions also available
No tracking or personal data collection
beyond name and email address

•••






Fearless journalism
in your inbox every day

Sign up for our free newsletter

• • •