Burning a hole in student’s pockets, in theory

Hamline work study wages have increased based on St. Paul’s minimum wage ordinance.


Taleah Alldritt
Anderson Student Center experiences the Hamline community in all capacities whether it be work study postitions, academics, activities or socializing.

Anika Besst, News Editor

Senior Taylor Krassas had spent her junior year hearing whispers of a large pay raise for Hamline’s work study students. Some rumors said students would one day receive $15 an hour in coordination with the St. Paul minimum wage ordinance. 

It was not until the summer of 2021 that the rumors were confirmed and the first major pay raise was implemented with work study wages going from $11.50 to $12.50 per hour. 

“The work study wage is in coordination with the St Paul ordinance for a minimum wage so we are in a transition period now until 2023,” Payroll Coordinator Halsey Aitchison said

These increment increases are based on how many employees a company has. Hamline falls into the “Large Business” category which includes businesses having 101 to 10,000 employees meaning the wage will reach $15 by July 1, 2023. These increases will happen every summer with accordance to the academic year. 

Work study is part of a student’s financial aid package, with students either receiving federal or Hamline funding. 

With the latest wage increase happening over the past summer, students enjoy having more money for the same amount of time working. Krassas, who works for the Central Service Desk, Piper Xpress and the theatre Box Office, has noticed the benefits of the extra pay when paying bills and buying groceries. 

“It’s nice to be able to have a little bit of extra cash in my pocket and still work the same amount of hours,” Krassas said. “I think it’s the right thing [for Hamline] to do especially since, especially at Hamline, finances are a really big issue for a lot of students here.” 

These thoughts were echoed by junior Nolan Sherburne who is the light shop manager in the theatre department. As someone who plans to pursue a career in this field, he thinks the work study program provides a small setting example of what post college could possibly look like. With his managerial role paying him more than his employees, this experience could become a reality for him. 

I am glad to be paid more than I was before, more money is always good. I also know that in different professional jobs, managers often make a little more than other employees so that concept isn’t that strange to me,” Sherburne wrote in an email interview. 

Students also hope this is the first of many steps the school continues to make. Senior Theo Hoang, who works for Student Administrative Services, believes Hamline could have done more with everything going on in students’ lives. 

“Due to COVID[-19] I think we are deserving of a little bit more… but I understand that if there’s anything that was holding them back from the funds that they could provide, I understand that part but I just need some reasoning,” Hoang said. “I understand it’s weird to follow the St. Paul city’s minimum wage rules but I think students are working hard, and the work and school life balance is like unproportional for us to handle.”

While the hourly wage increased, the overall budget did not, meaning that, in some cases, the number of hours students can work may be more limited than in the past. 

“Departments are allotted a certain dollar amount of that work study that they can use for their student employees, and depending on the department and the need and the usage of that money in years past, that number gets decided each year,” Aitchison said. “So potentially, if the minimum wage is going up and the budget number is not going up, supervisors just have to calculate the number of hours that they have given the total work study dollar amount that they’re awarded at the beginning of the year.” 

This was the case for members of the Hamline Theatre and Dance department, such as Sherburne. 

“While I am glad to be paid more, the theatre work study budget was not increased, which means I have to cut down my weekly hours by 30% so I don’t go over budget,” Sherburne wrote. “In theatre a lot of time is spent tweaking and adjusting every little thing so that performances can go without issue, and it is definitely stressful knowing I have 1/3 less time to work on productions.”

Coming back for this academic year and their work study positions, not all students heard of the change. Junior Savannah Lyytinen who works at Hamline’s Starbucks enjoys the raise now that she knows about it. 

“I’m glad they did that, but they could have communicated it better. I think it would help with other students that are thinking about applying, maybe it would give them more incentive to apply then,” Lyytinen said.


For work study information and positions, check out: https://hamline.joinhandshake.com/login

Taleah Alldritt
Manor Hall houses the Payroll Office which is responible for the distribution of paychecks, along with other responsibilities.