Here's the Only Presidential Candidate That Pays Interns

February 11th 2016

Kyle Jaeger

The only presidential candidate who offers paid internships is none other than Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. All the rest — from Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton to billionaire Donald Trump — "pay" interns in experience and food stipends, a recent study found.

Researchers Dr. Christina Greer and Alexis Grenell sent a Fordham University student out to investigate who pays presidential campaign interns in the 2016 election, a race that has largely revolved around conversations about income inequality and college affordability. That's an important point given the fact that students tend to be the ones who apply to internships in the first place.

A lot of campaigns rely on free labor — volunteers, community organizers, canvassers, etc. — but unpaid internship programs represent a different model of free labor that is arguably unfair. If you come from a low-income family, for example, unpaid internships can be an unsustainable option. Often, only those from wealthy backgrounds can reasonably afford to work for free and benefit from the experience.

unpaid internship

"I think paid presidential internships would really help students who don't come from wealthy, or even middle class, families to participate in very important aspects of the campaign ([government], strategy, campaign outreach, etc.), as well as set themselves up to be in positions to actually serve in an administration if their candidate wins," Greer told ATTN:.

Sanders pays interns $10.10 per hour, the Fordham student found after applying to programs offered by each campaign. Clinton, who has made college affordability a major talking point of her platform, offers unpaid internships.

Among the remaining Republican candidates, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson offers paid and unpaid internships, but the "paid" part includes only food and travel stipends. The rest of the Republican field just has unpaid internships without any perks beyond experience.

GOP front-runner Donald Trump, on the other hand, does not advertise any internships.

To his credit, Trump does pay interns at his Trump Entertainment Resorts $10 an hour.

RELATED: Your Unpaid Internship Might Be Illegal