While summer break affords rest for some students, others use it for internships.
Certain majors require internships to graduate, and job recruiters favor those who have experience in their career. Summer internships allow students to build necessary skills and qualifications. If the internships also count for class credit, then it is an even more efficient use of a student’s time.
However, in order for students to receive University of Georgia credit for their summer internship, they must pay tuition and fees for the entire summer. Paying to apply the internship for course credit is an unnecessary and inefficient hurdle for students to overcome to get credit, especially if the internship is unpaid.
According to the UGA Bursar and Treasury Services, a single summer can cost in-state students $318 per credit hour and $938 per credit hour for out-of-state students. HOPE or Zell Miller scholarships can cover the cost of tuition for eligible students, but additional fees are still out of pocket. Since one internship would amount to about three credit hours, fees would be around $323. If a student sought two short internships (six credit hours) the cost would be around $548.
The alternative would be for students to do their internship, not receive credit for it and fulfill the credit during the semester, when classes and fees are typically more expensive. Summer internships would be the cheapest method of receiving credit, but unless students have outside financial support or miraculously found an internship that could cover living expenses and this fee, $548 is a steep price. There are other ways students can gain course credit for their internship without paying money for it.
UGA’s system is flawed and needs change. Instead of putting up a paywall, students should be able to apply for internships to count as course credit.