Tips & Tricks for a More Affordable Internship Experience March 23, 2012 by Alexis Mattera Many students don’t have time to take on internships during the traditional academic year, making summer break the perfect time to gain experience in their fields of choice. Unfortunately, students looking to earn college credit for these often unpaid positions must still fork over the cash to cover the credit fees – sometimes thousands of dollars – despite not being enrolled in formal classes. Is there a way to have a more affordable internship experience? Indeed, according to one of USA Today’s collegiate correspondents...and with 11 internships under her belt, she speaks from experience: Instead of paying for credits at your university, see if a local community college offers a cooperative education program that you can enroll in for the summer. You will still have to pay but the fees will likely be much lower than at a four-year public or private school. Alternative programs offering both internship placement and credit services are convenient options but keep an eye on the price tag: Dream Careers can cost more than $8,000 but the UCLA Extension Film and Television Internship Program is a bargain at $550. Letters of support – documents from college career counselors that state that you are a student in good academic standing and the internship experience is considered applicable to your degree program – can go a long way. You may not receive college credit but you may not have to pay, either. Are you interning this summer? Let us know where in the comments!Getting more college financial aid doesn’t have to be a relentless search. Scholarships.com is totally free. Connect with our massive database of millions of college scholarships at any time by searching for awards in a variety of ways. Scholarships.com offers the quickest and easiest way to search for, apply to, and win college scholarships. Start making your college education affordable or perhaps even free, by conducting a free college scholarship search at Scholarships.com.