Opinion: University Finally Increases Student Minimum Wage


Courtesy of Villanova University

Villanova University raises student minimum wage to 10 dollars.

Jacob Artz, Staff Writer

When National Basketball Association superstar LeBron James won his first championship with the Miami Heat in 2012, he stated, “It’s about damn time.” Many Villanova student employees feel the same way, as the University finally announced a minimum wage increase.

This wage increase is long overdue. Students work very hard in all positions, and play a vital role in the operation of the Falvey Memorial Library, Fitness Centers, Connelly Center and Student Life, among many others. Students give up time that they could be completing schoolwork, or hanging out with friends, to fulfill roles for the various places on campus. Of course, there are times to socialize with others, but student dedication to helping the University function at its best has been lowballed for a long time.

Student employees were notified of the wage increase on Tuesday, Jan. 11. The announcement raised the minimum wage from 7.25 to 10 dollars an hour.

“Student employee minimum wage has increased to $10 per hour effective Monday, Jan. 3,” said the University in an email. “All student employees earning less than $10 per hour will increase to this rate effective Monday, Jan. 3. Effected current student job postings will be updated by Human Resources to reflect this rate change. Additionally, anniversary increases for eligible returning student employees not impacted by the new student minimum wage will be processed and effective Monday, Jan. 3.”

There are a few objective and practical reasons as to why the University ultimately chose to raise the minimum wage. A glance at other nearby states’ minimum wage leaves Villanova lagging. Connecticut boasts a $14.00 minimum wage, Delaware $10.50, Maine $12.75, Massachusetts $14.25, New Jersey $13.00, New York $13.20 and Vermont $12.55, according to Minimum Wage Facts & Analysis. The state of Pennsylvania, though, is still stuck on the $7.25 minimum wage, per the same source. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has urged the General Assembly to increase the minimum wage to $12.00 to lead to a pathway to a $15 minimum wage, as stated by a press release from Governor Wolf.

Second, the University makes significant profits. According to the Financial Statement from 2019-2020, Villanova University reported an operating income of $29 million, making $461,867 from student tuition and fees. With all calculations done, the University’s 2019-2020 Financial Statement revealed that in the pandemic year of 2020, Villanova had a total operating revenue of $629,663, which included gifts, private grants, government grants, endowment resources, investments and net assets released from restrictions. 

Third, Villanova students pay a large sum to attend the Augustinian Catholic University. According to the Bursar’s Office, the estimated annual freshman cost for 2021-2022 is $74,406, with $58,290 going towards tuition alone. For a student and their family to invest that much money into education, increasing the minimum wage for student employees is the least Villanova could do. 

I work for the work-study program in Falvey Memorial Library, and being from Pennsylvania, I was used to the low minimum wage rates. However, I was shocked when I came into this University two and a half years ago and truly learned how little Villanova paid its student body.

Given how so many people have been negatively financially impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, I am glad to see Villanova finally making the right move. Raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour for all student employees is a step in the right direction, rewarding all the hard work students do to help run our University.