There's an article in today's Wall Street Journal aptly titled Summer Internships Can Carry a Price.
For college students strapped for cash, what could be worse than an unpaid summer internship? Maybe having to pay to get one.
Driven in part by labor-law concerns about uncompensated work, companies are increasingly requiring that students receive college credit for their internships -- or lose their slot. While many colleges are finding creative ways to satisfy employers without actually granting credit for nonacademic work, others are offering some form of credit, and demanding that students pay the related tuition.
Businesses are correct that having someone do work for free violates the labor laws. But making people pay money in order to do work is an ironic way around a law that was designed to ensure that workers are paid a fair wage.
Here's an idea: companies can be really safe and actually pay the interns $5.15/hour.