ECC raises pay for student workers

Student+job+postings+are+listed+on+this+bulletin+board+outside+the+Financial+Aid+office+in+B156

Allison Formeller

Student job postings are listed on this bulletin board outside the Financial Aid office in B156

Allison Formeller, Managing Editor

Last semester, students who worked on campus earned $8.25 per hour. Starting on January 1, however, Elgin Community College granted a pay raise to students who work on campus. Now students earn $10 an hour. 

Since this change at the beginning of the semester, more students have applied for on-campus jobs. The schedules for each position are also flexible, so students can take shifts as they fit into their class schedule.

“We raised the pay to be competitive with the other jobs around. So not only are we flexible with your schedule, but you can make the $10 an hour,” said Thomas Drennan, a financial aid scholarship specialist.

Positions are available for students in the library, Student Life, the ECC bookstore and there are various jobs on campus for specific majors of study.

Taniya Lacy, a second semester student, is a lab aide in the library, a position she also filled during her first semester.

As a lab aide, Lacy helps with printing, the color copiers, giving directions to students and she helps with any computer problems students encounter.

While that may seem like a lot of work, Lacy only works about five hours every two days. 

“This is the one job where I can do my homework,” Lacy said. “They’re like, ‘You can work, but you’re also a student first, so if you have to do work or homework or any tests, just let us know.’ They’re very flexible and very lenient.” 

Because of the flexibility of the positions offered to students, multiple students can fill a position. The number of potential student workers is technically unlimited.

All of this is overseen by the Financial Aid workers, who initially recommended the pay increase. The Financial Aid administrators also set the hours for federal student workers, but students cannot work more than twenty hours per week. 

However, students can fit into one of two categories: a federal student worker or an institutional student worker. Most available jobs are considered federal student jobs, so the Department of Education is paying these students. For institutional workers, however, their wages must be budgeted by the department they work under, so there are fewer positions for them. 

Basically, it’s easier to get a job if you are receiving financial aid, although it’s not impossible if not. 

“Even if you filled out your FAFSA and you weren’t eligible for any grants, there is that slim chance that you are still considered a federal student worker,” Drennan said. 

For students who can work on campus, though, the job is worth it, since it provides flexibility and leniency for students who have to do homework or study, as well as a fair wage.

“Even without the pay raise, this job was great, because I still had two other jobs I was dealing with, so this was the only place that I could get all my homework done,” Lacy said.

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