Multimedia | Education

Unpaid and Unfair: Financing Internships for Low-income Students

Date: March 24, 2010

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 • Noon – 1:00 PM Eastern time

Listen to this event: [listen to stream] [download MP3]

Internships, once a rare bonus for students, have become a standard component of a college graduate’s resume. Despite their near universality and their necessity for students entering the job market, the majority of internships at non-profits and in government are unpaid, putting many low- and middle-income students at a considerable disadvantage.

Join the Economic Policy Institute, Demos, and Campus Progress at a forum to discuss the economic challenges that prevent students from taking internships and how federal policy can make a difference.

This event coincides with the Economic Policy Institute and Dēmos release of Paving the Way through Paid Internships: A Proposal to Expand Educational Opportunities for Low-Income College Students, a paper that proposes federal financial aid to help fund public service internships for low-income students. In order to minimize administrative costs, the funding would be distributed to colleges through the existing, successful Federal Work-Study Program; colleges would then have discretion to disburse the funds to qualified, eligible students.

Location: Economic Policy Institute, Washington, D.C.


Shirley Sagawa, JD, Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress. A national expert on children and youth policy, Shirley Sagawa has been called a “founding mother of the modern service movement” for her work on national service.

Nancy K. Cauthen, PhD, Director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Dēmos. Dr. Cauthen brings two decades of experience researching and analyzing public policies that promote opportunity and reduce economic hardship.

Kathryn Edwards, Researcher at the Economic Policy Institute and co-author of “Paving the Way through Paid Internships.”

Alexander Hertel-Fernandez, Researcher at the Economic Policy Institute and Visiting Researcher at the George Washington University, co-author of “Paving the Way through Paid Internships.”