Paid Internships Guide

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How much should I pay my intern? While students in the Academic Internship Program receive academic credit for their participation, we encourage you to consider how to create an equitable experience for our students by providing compensation. Why should I pay my intern? • Competitiveness: Paying your intern will make your internship more attractive to students and therefore more competitive. This increases the likelihood of a more competitive applicant pool. • Legal Definitions: Unpaid educational interns can only do so much, but a paid intern opens the doors to a larger, more robust internship program. Less red tape equals higher productivity. • Equity: Taking an unpaid internship requires students to have large savings or support from family. Not all students have this luxury and by covering some of the student's needs, you can level the playing field for all candidates. • Peace of Mind: Without worrying about how they will meet basic needs, interns can focus on their internship and take full advantage of the opportunity you are giving them. How can I compensate my intern? Our employers typically pay students hourly using their state's minimum wage or use a stipend (either monthly or once per term) to help offset the cost of living, which can include public transportation, food, etc. Stipends range from $300 to $2000 for the term. D.C. minimum wage is currently $16.10/hour. There are many ways to ease the financial burden on students while interning: • Stipends: Stipends are lump sums paid to students during or after their internship. When determining your stipend, you may want to consider common costs students incur: – Transportation Stipends, WMATA Metro Cards or Passes: Ranging from $100-200/month, find out what your intern might expect to pay here: (TWC housing is located off the NoMa-Gallaudet metro stop) – Food Stipend: The average monthly grocery bill in D.C. is around $300. • Hourly Wage: Most employers who choose to pay interns a wage pay their interns the local minimum wage. This makes your intern an employee and you should follow any applicable rules related to paid, seasonal or temporary employees. • Payment Methods: Our current employer partners use a variety of payment methods, which range from 1099s and W-2s to refilling WMATA metro cards or metro passes. Be sure to follow all applicable rules when paying interns.

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