Hora, M.T. (2022). Unpaid internships and inequality: A review of the data and recommendations for research, policy, and practice. Policy Brief #2. Center for Research on College-Workforce Transitions. University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Abstract: Internships can be “door openers” to opportunity and social mobility for college students, but unpaid internships pose considerable legal, ethical, and practical challenges. In particular, low-income and first-generation students may be unable to pursue unpaid positions, thereby acting as a discriminatory gatekeeping function that exacerbates inequality. In this policy brief, CCWT co-Director Matthew Hora first reviews the evidence regarding the prevalence of unpaid internships and the demographics of students pursuing them, followed by existing policy solutions and recommendations for future research, policy, and educational practice.