Staff Writer: Alexandria Sessions
Eight dollars an hour and only 15 hours on a check is a budget students are not happy with due to their expenses. While other on-campus jobs pay their student workers up to 10 dollars an hour, many are capped at only $8. The payment process is done through ADP or Automatic Data Processing. The students under work-study, clock in under this system and it tracks when they clock in for easy management of hours.
“Student workers earn at least the current minimum wage and are paid on a monthly basis for hours worked,” Emily Burke, Undergraduate Counselor in Student Financial Planning, said.
“Students are allowed up to three on-campus jobs through the work-study program and can work a maximum of 15 hours per week across all positions combined.”
All of their earnings, according to Burke go straight to the student and not their accounts, but the option is there, but what happens to the check once it is placed in the hand of the student is up to them. What students do with their checks is mostly for food, groceries, and entertainment purpose, if any is left over.
“ I honestly use my check from my on-campus jobs to pay my bills for Greek Life on campus and one or two tanks of gas for the month, and then I am typically out of money from my on-campus jobs.” Wayfind Mentor, Carlee Davidson said.
Other students utilize their checks for minuscule bills or recreational activities.
“I mainly use the check on my club in some sort of way, if it is covering for gas when going to games, help pay for housing, or help some players cover their dues,” Rugby Captain, Nicklas Johansen, said.
The monthly payments are set in place to mimic the workplace of a 9-5 job, which students are headed for once they graduate college.
“Each company that you work for will have a different payroll policy. Depending on the company, you may be paid weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly for your hours worked,” Burke said.
“There are advantages and disadvantages to each payment time period and you will need to be disciplined with your personal finances to align with your company’s payment schedule. It is always a good idea to be aware of and plan for the impact that a company’s payment schedule will have on your personal finances and budget.”
Students are beginning to understand the monthly payments and see the advantages the Undergraduate counselor is talking about. Senior Alexis Mcburney ‘thinks it helps manage money’ and Isaiah McPhee, sophomore, thinks the work-study students ‘will be fine’.
“For me at least, I don’t really need money for anything other than eating out off-campus, so it kinda teaches me the self-control to not spend all my money within that month,” McPhee said.
As mentioned early each payment policy comes with its disadvantages as well and for on-campus jobs, many of these disadvantages include the amount of pay and the monthly payments. Students coming to college are used to part-time positions that pay bi-weekly or even weekly. This adjustment could be a painful one for those who are used to those quick turnarounds.
“I do not think monthly payments are beneficial, because I have to spend more money on groceries in order to make it to the next month [the 10th of each month] as I only have 3 swipes a week at the Klondike,” Housing Assistant in Residence Life Office, Kamiay Glen said.
“I also have to pay bills that are due BEFORE the 10th. This leaves me no money to buy books or pay tuition even if I wanted to.”
The monthly payments pose a risk to the amount a student can receive due to the 15-hour maximum that a student is allowed to earn amount three jobs.
“I think the monthly payments can be overwhelming at times because it forces you to portion out expenses over a large period of time,” Eric Reeves, a Student Instructor (SI) said.
“I am much more used to getting paid bi-monthly, where my money is divided over a month’s time, therefore I am not as overwhelmed to ration my funds where I need and want them.”
John Ellison, a student employee with the Bulldog Activities Resource Committee (BARC), picked up a second job off-campus to support paying his expenses. It’s not only John making these decisions, other students have been picking up off-campus jobs to cover the expenses their on-campus job is not covering.
“I have another off-campus job working minor league baseball and I did start working at this on-campus job in order to make enough money to pay all of my expenses,” Ellison said.
“I currently do not have an off-campus job, but I am currently looking for one. I’m forced to pick up an office campus job because I do not make enough,” Glen said.
The Director of Career Services, Sharon Robinson doesn’t have a preference for which payment plan works best for students, but does give insight on how transportation can make a difference in the jobs students are choosing.
“Sometimes if you have a commuter who drives every day to a school who is interested in a job sometimes off-campus works pretty well for them…Some students don’t have a car so they might really need or want an on-campus job because getting there[the job] might be a little tricky for them,” The director said.
Johansen is in a similar situation, while he has a car he is not legally allowed to work off-campus.
“If I were able to work off-campus I would with no doubt, I can drive off campus by 20 minutes and make between 5 to 7 dollars more an hour, ” the Wingate Starbucks barista said.
Students are suggesting bi-weekly payments, higher wages, or both to help cover the cost of college life.
“I would like for them to change the pay periods to at least bi-weekly or weekly to make it more manageable for students,” The SI leader said. “ I would also prefer there to be either an increase in wage or allow students to work 20 hours per week instead of the 15 maximum.”