College students are experiencing summertime sadness, and for good reason

  • As unemployment continually climbs following forced shutdowns, university students are suffering from lost internships.
  • Students are turning to the gig economy, conventional summer jobs, and other opportunities to fill their summers.

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies are canceling, moving, and amending their internship programs. 

American college students are finding themselves in financial uncertainty as they enter the summer months.

“As our schools went virtual, we found ourselves with a strong desire to help and plenty of time to do so, but we didn’t know where to start..."   

More than 20.5 million Americans lost their jobs in April alone, and most states implemented shelter-in-place orders, causing businesses to triage by cutting internships.

According to survey results published by the employment platform Yello, 64 percent of canceled student internships and “did not provide any form of alternative offer” or compensation. Only 11 percent of students who had their internship offers revoked received a postponed internship offer. 

Only 7 percent of students say they received a guaranteed final round interview next year, and 6 percent received a full-time offer for next year.

[RELATED: Colleges are now moving SUMMER classes online]

According to Business Insider, the average number of daily job posts on online job board ZipRecruiter fell by 31 percent in March, and unemployment climbed an additional 10 percent in April.

Roughly one-third of students who took the Yello survey and indicated that they had a summer internship offer said that it had been canceled.

Similarly, the job and internship search site Handshake found that 30 percent of college juniors and seniors surveyed had entirely lost their internships. 

To make matters worse, the vast majority of American college students will not qualify for $1,200 economic stimulus checks from the Treasury Department. In most cases, dependents are not eligible for the payments. 

Meanwhile, college students are altering their summer plans.

Some students are opting to take online classes through their universities or through countless free programs offered by Udacity, Coursera, Skillshare, and other virtual learning providers. Others are seeking jobs at grocery stores and attempting to secure other conventional summer work opportunities. 

[RELATED: Ivy League takes full degree program online at MAJOR discount]

Some students are finding innovative solutions to connect their peers around the country to remaining opportunities. Three students from the University of Pennsylvania and one student from the University of Maryland recently launched a program called Corona Connects, which links volunteers with organizations in need. 

Users can scroll through a list of available opportunities in their area, and organizations can request volunteers.

“As our schools went virtual, we found ourselves with a strong desire to help and plenty of time to do so, but we didn’t know where to start,” explain the founders of the program.

“We knew there was an unprecedented level of need, yet struggled to identify and connect with organizations in need of volunteers. We built Corona Connects to remove that barrier and make it easy for people to help their communities.”

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft



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Ben Zeisloft
Benjamin Zeisloft | Pennsylvania Campus Correspondent

Benjamin Zeisloft is a Pennsylvania Campus Correspondent, reporting on liberal bias and abuse for Campus Reform. He is studying Finance and Marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Benjamin also writes for The UPenn Statesman and the Wharton International Business Review.

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