Kansas University students will have a little more dough in their pockets this fall.
KU is upping the minimum hourly wage for student workers from $6.50 to $7 beginning Aug. 13.
"Our intent was to put some of the money from tuition enhancement back into the pockets of students," budget director Richard McKinney said.
It's the second raise for students since 2003 when KU set the minimum wage at $6, above the federal minimum of $5.15.
The Provost's Office is encouraging departments to reward even those students who already earn wages above the minimum, but how much those students receive will vary depending on where they work, McKinney said. Provost Richard Lariviere did not return calls Tuesday.
"It could only be helpful," Ann Hartley, associate director of the University Career Center, said of the increase.
Last year, KU received more than 27,000 applications for 1,430 student jobs posted on KU's job Web site. The jobs range from staffing the circulation desk at Watson Library to helping grade exams.
Many students are drawn to the conveniently located work in an environment where supervisors are sympathetic to student needs.
"If something crazy comes up, they're understanding," said Ashley Ahrens, a student adviser in KU's Student Financial Aid Office.
Ahrens said she likes her job because she saves on gas by working on campus, she gets the weekends off and she can leave work at 5 p.m. And Ahrens is happy to get a raise.
"We're excited about it," she said.
The raises will be supported by about $323,000 in additional tuition charged by KU. Funds from areas that generate their own revenue, such as the parking department, also will support the raises, McKinney said.
KU bests some other Big 12 schools in the wages it pays student workers. Schools such as Baylor University, the University of Missouri and Texas Tech University reported minimum wages on par with the federal level. Kansas State University's minimum wage is $6.
"It'll just really make things easier to pay for," said Rob Ryan, a KU junior who works at Watson Library. "The university has been good to us."