Planting flowers, painting walls, and fixing broken furniture are often tasks reserved for a college's maintenance crew, but this summer some schools are paying their students to take care of that work, USA Today reports.
Schools like St. John's University in Collegeville, Minn., and the College of Wooster in Ohio are hiring students to do manual labor. The money these students earn should help them afford the ever rising costs of their higher education, the colleges hope. St. John's created 80 new full-time student jobs, while Wooster hired 200 students this summer, about three times the number of employees it typically brings on during the summer months.
SnagAJob.com, a website that lists available hourly-wage jobs, commissioned a nationwide survey of employers this spring that predicted an extremely tight summer job market. It was clear that a lot of people were going to have a hard time finding summer jobs, says St. John's former interim president, Dan Whalen. A lot of our students rely on the income they make in the summer to cover their fees.
St. John's political science major Bryan Jasperson is a rising senior at the university and secured one of the summer jobs in his school's arboretum after a two-month job search that turned up no other viable positions. Twenty-year-old Jasperson told USA Today that the $4,000 he expects to make by the end of the summer will go toward the cost of his schooling, which he expects will top $37,000 next year.
But some other cash-strapped college students are not as lucky as those enrolled at schools that upped their summer hiring; these students attend schools that hired fewer students this summer. Kalamazoo College, for example, trimmed its student workforce by about 15 jobs this summer because of budget cuts and the increased minimum wage in Michigan, which is up by nearly one dollar from last summer. We are simply not painting as many walls or cutting grass as frequently as in years past, says Kalamazoo College spokesman Jeff Palmer.