Conservative and Christian colleges and universities are landing more interns inside the Trump White House and administration after an 8-year dry spell during the Obama era.
Schools such as Liberty University, Patrick Henry College, and Hillsdale College have seen a significant increase in students winning internships in the Republican administration as well as on Capitol Hill and the U.S. Supreme Court, and it follows a surge in their graduates getting jobs in Washington.
During the Obama years, for example, Liberty landed two interns in the White House. Under Trump, they’ve already placed 11.
And since Trump became president, Liberty has placed 37 students through its Washington Fellowship program into House and Senate offices. During Obama’s eight years, they had 78 interns on Capitol Hill.
Michigan’s Hillsdale said its numbers were similar and added that the jobs student interns are taking are much better in the Trump White House.
Ditto for Patrick Henry College, the nation’s first for home-schooled students. The college in Purcellville, Va., about an hour’s drive from the White House, said it had no interns in the Obama White House after having 11 serve in the George W. Bush administration.
But under Trump, it has already had seven students serve as interns. In addition, it has five graduates working as White House staff and dozens on Capitol Hill.
And while the White House and the administration are opening their doors to students from schools such as Hillsdale, Liberty, Patrick Henry, Grove City College, and Regent University, they stress that the students are winning the jobs on merit.
“Everyone goes through the same process,” said an administration official.
Matthew Spalding, who heads the Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies & Citizenship in Washington, said that government and congressional internship offices are attracted to the schools because they press students to write well, study constitutional history, and keep up on current affairs, all key to Washington jobs.
“Our students have the skills that people want,” he said.
Former Virginia Republican Rep. Robert Hurt, executive director of Liberty’s Center for Law and Government, said, “One of our guiding principles here at Liberty is a laser focus on making certain that our students are prepared to hit the ground running as soon as they graduate — regardless of his or her chosen path.”
He added, “We are thankful to the White House — and so many others — who have been willing to provide these once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to our students. We are proud of our success in placing our students in these meaningful internships, and we are equally proud of our many alumni who are now working in Washington and making a positive difference.”
At Virginia’s Regent University, headed by Pat Robertson, a spokesman said, “Our graduates and interns have been competitive and we see a continued level of placements in this administration as we have in previous administrations.”
The Trump administration’s recognition of the conservative and Christian schools and their students provides a huge benefit to those that get the internships.
“White House and administration internships are about conveying credibility and peerless experience to the rising generation of young conservatives and men and women of faith,” said former Bush White House official and Focus on the Family Vice President Tim Goeglein.
“The talent and aspirations in this generation are inspiring,” he added.