male and female interns gathered around female boss at computer (Photo: WavebreakMediaMicro/

As the school year winds down, many students are preparing for unpaid summer internships. Although they are a time-honored way to gain experience, they also may create a financial hardship for some participants.

“The problem is that students from less-advantaged backgrounds often face a significant financial strain from accepting such positions,” according to a Student Loan Hero survey report. “Nearly half of former unpaid interns among the survey’s 2,100-plus respondents said they were forced to go into debt to manage expenses. Others took on a second (paid) job to make ends meet.

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