Wages to increase 35 cents for students


Beginning July 11, students who have on-campus jobs can expect to see an extra 35 cents per hour added to their paychecks.

This increase will take the university's minimum wage pay from $5.15 per hour to $5.50 per hour.

The decision to give on-campus student employees a raise came on May 3 when the Board of Trustees approved a new student wage plan.

The plan increases the minimum wage for university-employed students to $5.50 per hour. Also, the plan states some students may be paid up to $7.50 per hour.

"The Board of Trustees has approved the concept of paying more than $5.50 an hour if the job requires more skill or expertise," said Larry Beck, associate director of the Career Center. Beck said jobs such as computer programmers would be considered for higher pay.

While $7.50 per hour is the maximum amount students could make, the decision on how much to pay student employees is left to the department for which they work, Beck said.

However, student employees will not see raises above the minimum wage immediately. Some determining factors are still being worked out, Beck said.

One factor that will need to be changed before paying students varying rates is the computer system, which tells how many hours students work and how much they are to be paid.

"Some changes need to be made in some computers, and that's what's driving this change," Beck said. "The systems now don't compensate varying rates of pay."

Another factor still being worked out is the establishment of long-term guidelines on how to determine what to pay skilled workers above minimum wage. The Career Center and Office of Payroll and Employee Benefits are currently working on these guidelines, Beck said. He said he did not know an exact date when the guidelines would be completed.

Part of these guidelines will include written job descriptions that supervisors will give to employees. Beck said there are about 800 jobs that need descriptions and more than 5,000 student employees.

Ball State's student-employee pay raise will set wages at somewhat of an equal level with other schools in the state.

Indiana University student employees are paid between $5.15 and $7 per hour depending on the job, according to their Student Employment Office.

Purdue University student employees are paid on six different levels, said David Resiegh, job locator and coordinator at Purdue. The levels range from paying $5.15 per hour to $12.15 per hour. Resiegh said the hiring supervisor determines what the employee will be paid. Purdue has been using the level system for at least four years, Resiegh said.

Beck said Ball State's Board of Trustees have been meaning to take action on a pay raise for university-employed students for sometime.

"This has been on the table for discussion for two and a half years now," he said.

Originally, former university president John Worthen was interested in how technically inclined jobs could be compensated for their necessary skills and abilities, Beck said. When President Brownell came to the university, he also showed interest in this area.

The last pay raise for on-campus student employees was in 1997 when federal minimum wage was raised from $4.75 per hour to $5.15 per hour.

"Thirty-five cents this summer is a good start for compensating students for the services they provide for the university," Beck said.


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