Internship credits overpriced

By By Jeffrey Jenkins

By Jeffrey Jenkins

As the market continues to exhibit its manic recession disorder, the pinch of the market downturn is affecting students as well as homeowners and investors.

At George Washington University, 180 students were left scrambling to find funding during the middle of an academic year because National Education, a student loan company, was unable to acquire the necessary funding.

There have been other smaller loan companies that have had the same problem, which decreases the probability of receiving a student loan. In addition to the pending student loan crisis, student scholarships are becoming fiercely competitive.

John Curl, director of financial aid and scholarships for the U, said there is a possibility of fewer scholarships from the private sector. With shrinking loans and scholarships, students will be hard-pressed to find funding for college, especially since Utah mandated a significant budget cut which will no doubt have a negative effect on tuition, fees and scholarships. If this hasn’t demoralized you, the knowledge that the job market for postgraduate students is continuing to shrink will.

For most people, the purpose of a college education is to find gainful employment upon graduation. In a market as tumultuous as ours, a great option would be to participate in an internship. Many employees from a number of companies started as interns and proved their ability to thrive in that work environment. The U offers various internships that also count for academic credit in your chosen major. Don’t get excited yet8212;there is always a rub.

The U career service office offers internships in which the number of hours you work per week will determine the credit that you can receive for the experience. However, a student in a for-credit internship program will be required to pay for the credits the internship offers.

In a market where student loans are being rescinded, scholarships and postgraduate jobs are shrinking, and tuition costs are rising, requiring students to pay the full tuition price for an internship credit is making them pay for services not rendered directly by the U.

If a student had an internship that he or she found and cleared the opportunity for credit with the Career Services Office, and was then required to work 15 hours a week for $10 an hour, the majority of the money would go to paying the U.

In fact, three credit hours for classroom instruction or internships costs $984.71. A student working 15 hours a week at the rate of $10 an hour would gross $1,800 during the course of the internship. After taxes and paying the high internship cost, the student would be left with less than one-third of what he or she worked for. Now imagine the daunting task of paying for those credits before entering a full-time internship with no pay.

In order for the Career Services Office at the U to better provide for student needs, the cost of internships for credit needs to be reduced to reflect the services that are actually rendered. These students are not being instructed and taught by university employees, or supplemented by university materials, which justifies tuition costs. Professors do not work for free.

These students are working to gain a valuable learning experience while still paying expensive tuition. Charging students that amount for internship credits is like charging a student for going to another school.

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Jeffrey Jenkins