When Free Internships Don't Make Sense; Rhodes Scholarship Glory

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Today in academia: the Rhodes scholar sweepstakes, aftermath of the Yale U-Haul tailgating death, a cash-for-grades U.A.E. program, and when unpaid internships may not work.

  • Paying your university to work at a free internship makes little sense.  If you've ever found yourself in the unenviable position of working at an unpaid internship at a company during college, and paying your institution for that privilege in order to receive school credit, you'll appreciate this case against unpaid internships in the latest Newsweek. Aside from painting an unflattering portrait of the free-labor for companies and sometimes debatable benefit for students, the most eye-raising part of the article was this research statistic--which underscores the importance of snagging an internship that's paid: "Sixty-one percent of paid interns working at for-profit companies received a job offer; only 38 percent of unpaid interns working at for-profit companies did. And paid interns netted higher starting salaries." [Newsweek]
  • Stanford edges out the Ivies in the Rhodes scholarship tally.  We assume a few administrators in Palo Alto are proud today, with Stanford University students nabbing 5 out of 32 of this year's prestigious Rhodes Scholarships (Brown, Princeton and Harvard each took home 4, Businessweek notes). But, since we're talking about these awards as if it's a competition between professional sports teams, it should be noted that there's a certain Massachusetts university still holds the all-time amount of students who've won the award--332 students at Harvard have won it before this year, to be exact. [Bloomberg Businessweek]
  • The U-Haul truck that killed a person at The Game had malfunctioned, attorney says.  The big news out of this weekend's big Harvard v. Yale football showdown had little to do with football--a person was killed after a U-Haul van accelerated suddenly through the tailgating area. The Associated Press followed up on the story, speaking with the attorney of the student who drove the van, who said that it was a "tragic accident that appears to be the result of a vehicle malfunction." The AP also added that the driver of the van "passed a field sobriety test after the collision Saturday and police said he has been cooperative in their investigation, which remained open Sunday. No charges had been filed." [Associated Press]
  • University of Maryland may see sports disappear shortly. It's always a sad thing when a university, citing fiscal woes, trims its sports roster in order to make the budget. Today, it's the University of Maryland's turn and, as The Washington Post reported, there's a lot of teams--from both men and womens sports--that may get cut by July 1, 2012:  "all three men’s track teams (indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, cross-country); men’s swimming and diving; women’s swimming and diving; men’s tennis; women’s water polo; and aerobics and tumbling (formerly known as competitive cheer)." In a glimmer of hope, however, the cut teams were given a "chance to raise enough funds to ensure survival." [The Washington Post]
  • The U.A.E.'s program to pay students who maintain a certain grade point average. As always, when The New York Times writes about a cash-for-grades program, it notes concerned teachers and education professionals who see drawbacks to the scholarship system. But in this case with the United Arab Emirates it also notes that the program is used to help direct students to certain majors, an interesting idea:

Mohammed Al Maskari, a former deputy director of the Abu Dhabi Education Zone, said in an interview that students who perform well in certain majors like medicine or engineering receive a monthly stipend of 5,000 dirhams, or about $1,300, a month. “Kids like to be in groups, to be with their friends, and to take the easiest courses,” he said. “This is a way of steering them into areas that are needed.”

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.