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Internship Pay & Background Checks

Should my internship be paid?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which establishes the minimum wages for work performed. Pursuant to this law, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has developed six criteria for differentiating between an employee entitled to minimum wage or above, and a learner/trainee who may be unpaid. In most cases, internships at for profit organizations should be paid according to the FLSA and the six criteria. The six criteria do not apply to government and non-profit organizations. Hope College is not responsible under the law to make sure internships posted or pursued by Hope students are paid, but the college does wish to make the Hope community aware of the laws governing paid and unpaid internships.

What if my internship organization requires a background check?

Some organizations require student interns to do a background check as part of their application process. In most cases, if a background check is required, the organization will ask the student to provide an official fingerprint record which the organization will then submit to a background check company. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s office can provide an official fingerprint card to students for a $10 cash only fee, after viewing both a driver’s license and Hope student ID, Monday – Friday from 8-4 in the office located at 12220 Fillmore St, West Olive, MI.

If the internship opportunity is a practicum, clinical, or student teaching experience required by the Education, Nursing, or Studies in Ministry program at Hope, a background check will be coordinated through the corresponding academic department.