College Nation

Interning too costly for some students
University of California

Out of approximately 600 students who applied, 80 were accepted by CBS News last summer, where they worked full time for 10 weeks on various programs while living in either New York City or Washington, D.C., two of the most expensive cities in the world to live in.

At the end of it all, there was no paycheck – a situation which is similar to what many other interns may encounter.

Dario Bravo, manager of Internship and Study Abroad Services at the UCLA Career Center, said doing an internship before graduation is essential, even if students need to do one that is unpaid.

“It’s not something you can choose to do or not to do because the No. 1 source of hiring for employers today is through their internship programs … not campus interviews, job fairs and all that stuff,” Bravo said.

But when half of all internships are unpaid, according to Vault’s career information Web site, some say less affluent students are at a disadvantage in the job market.

In addition, some have also questioned the legality of having interns work for free.

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According to the Department of Labor, a previous Supreme Court case mandated that employers can have unpaid interns if they provide training for the intern and do not derive too much “immediate advantage from the activities of the student.”

Katie Curcio, internship coordinator for CBS News, said CBS interns are not paid because most interns are not paid in the TV industry.

And interning can lead to future job offers – in three and a half years of taking on about 160 interns a year, Curcio said CBS has hired 59 of its interns.

Unless a university hosts a center in the city of the internship, as is the case with the University of California’s centers in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., students cannot use financial aid to cover internship costs, Bravo said.

Randy Hagihara, internship director for the Los Angeles Times, said he wonders how some employers get away with not paying their interns. The Los Angeles Times pays their interns $600 a week for 10 weeks.

Hagihara also said the L.A. Times pays interns in order to compete with other publications for the best journalists.

According to Lochtefeld, taking out loans to do such internships if need be is just part of working up the corporate ladder.

– Courtesy of The Daily Bruin


N.Y. colleges caught deceiving students

State University of New York

On March 15, New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo revealed that he had found several colleges to have deceptive practices with regard to student loans. Since then, Cuomo has sent letters to all of the colleges and universities in New York state cautioning them of the potential conflict of interest when accepting benefits in exchange for putting a loan lender on their preferred lender list.

In a press release regarding what Cuomo considered “deceptive practices,” the Attorney General stated, “There is an unholy alliance between banks and institutions of higher education that may often not be in the students’ best interest. The financial arrangements between lenders and these schools are filled with the potential for conflicts of interest. In some cases they may break the law.”

In his investigation, Cuomo found that many colleges and universities across the state and the country were accepting gifts, revenue sharing and other financial arrangements in exchange for putting the lenders on their “preferred lender” list, which is used by 90 percent of college students to choose their loan lenders.

In response to his findings, Cuomo has signed settlements with several schools requiring them to reimburse students the money that the colleges were paid by lenders. According to a press release on Cuomo’s Web site, “the schools include the State University of New York’s 29 four-year campuses, Fordham University, Long Island University, New York University, St. Lawrence University, Syracuse University and the University of Pennsylvania.”

Schools across the state have adopted a new college code of conduct to correct and prevent deceptive loan practices from occurring. The code of conduct prohibits colleges from receiving “anything of value from any lending institution in exchange for any advantage sought by the lending institution.” It also prohibits any college employees from accepting gifts more than nominal in value from lending institutions, and for lenders to identify themselves as employees of the college. Any preferred lender lists that a college has must also clearly and fully disclose the process used for selecting the lenders as “preferred.”

The attorney general’s Web site has provided materials for parents to learn about choosing loan lenders.

– Courtesy of The Racquette


UCLA freshmen wealthiest in 40 years

University of California

A report encompassing 40 years of data collected by the University of California-Los Angeles annually from its entering undergraduates showed freshmen entering college in recent years are wealthier than any class of freshmen entering in the last 35 years.

The report, “American Freshmen: Forty-Year Trends 1966-2006,” was released by the Cooperative Institutional Research Program and is administered nationally by the university’s Graduate School of Education and Information Studies.

According to the data from the report, the gap between UCLA’s parental median income and the national average has increased by 14 percent since 1971.

The parental median income of freshmen at $74,000 in 2005 is 60 percent higher than the national average income of $46,326.

The research program is a survey group that looks at the impact of college on students by surveying entering freshmen and graduating seniors. The survey for freshmen looks for what students’ values are coming into college and in what activities they participated in high school, said John Pryor, director of the program.

– Courtesy of The Daily Bruin