After nearly a decade of flat wages, Bowdoin student employees are getting a raise. 
Starting this academic year, the lowest starting salary for student employees has increased from $7.75 to $9 per hour. 

“It’s exciting!” said Son Ngo ’17, who works approximately 18 hours per week as a student manager in dining and as a student intern for Information Technology (IT). 
These increases come amidst a nationwide movement to raise the minimum wage—including in Maine where voters will decide this November whether to increase the minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020. 

According to the Bowdoin Student Employment Office, approximately 70 percent of students hold at least one job on campus. Each job is classified under one of five pay grades—A, B, C, D and E—according to type of work and skill level. All are seeing raises of at least $1. 

Bowdoin last increased student salaries when Maine raised its minimum wage to $7.50 per hour in 2007. Historically, the lowest student wage has been about $0.25 above the state’s minimum.

Associate Director of Employment and Staffing Meredith Haralson explained the change.

“It’s been a number of years since we’ve increased [wages] on the student side, so we worked closely with the director of student employment as well as the managers and supervisors and determined that we needed to make an increase,” Haralson said. 

Along with increasing the student hourly wage, Bowdoin is in the process of reviewing its stipend pay to ensure that the College is in compliance with new Department of Labor regulations. 

As a result, more student employees—such as those on Residential Life who have typically received pay as a stipend—are being asked to track their hours.

“We’ll have a better idea of how many hours they’re working so that they are fairly compensated and not getting something way below minimum wage or something that’s way outside of the norm,” said Haralson. 

In addition, Human Resources plans to continue evaluating student pay going forward.

“I think that I’ll start working with some of the managers here and also look to other organizations and to our peer institutions to get a sense of best practices to run Student Employment effectively,” Haralson said. “This is something we’re used to doing—reviewing compensation, looking at what’s right.