Some colleges now stepping up to the plate and helping students who are working unpaid internships

College junior Edith Smart wanted to take an unpaid internship at the United Nations-- but there was one problem, "Housing costs, transportation costs, and feeding costs. There was no way for me to be able to afford all of that."

While internships are important, some college educators are concerned about students being forced to overlook meaningful opportunities.

Career Development Director Liz Lierman said, "Such as small non-profits where the organization is not able to pay. What that means for students is that only those who are able to find a way to cover the cost of participating in the internship are able to do so."

Now, some colleges help to bridge the gap by paying thousands of dollars in stipends. Some even offer hourly wages for qualifying students.

Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts goes even further.

Lierman said, "Every student at some point has the opportunity to receive financial support for an unpaid internship or research experience if needed."

Each student at the East Coast Liberal Arts College for Women receives $3,000 for a U.S. internship and $3,600 if they go abroad.

Lierman said, "The funds for these types of programs come from the support of individual alumni and donors."

The Mount Holyoke Program enabled Smart to accept her dream internship on her way to a career in international development.

"It was definitely a valuable experience and I got to meet a lot of people, make connections."

Experts said more colleges are starting to add or expand their internship funding programs.

For examples of colleges that have programs in place and the rules around when an internship needs to be paid, click here.
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