One out of every four GVSU students found to work on-campus jobs

GVL / Emily Frye
Lobby Shop worker Kayla Guercio serves Taylar Dickson

GVL / Emily Frye Lobby Shop worker Kayla Guercio serves Taylar Dickson

Drew Howard

In addition to classwork, social obligations and extracurricular activities, many students at Grand Valley State University also work jobs on the side to pay the bills. On campus, there are 6,678 students in this situation.

This means that out of the 25,325 students currently enrolled at GVSU, one out of every four students are working an on-campus job.

Maureen McElroy, student employment assistant at GVSU Financial Aid, said the Aramark Corp. provides most of the campus jobs available for students.

“Campus dining is the largest employer, with over 1,000 students,” McElroy said. “Aramark (campus dining) has added something new every year, though there won’t be too much of an increase in jobs this year. I would say Aramark has added new jobs since 2010 or so.”

New jobs in campus dining are the result of increased dining options over the past few years such as Argo Tea, Which Which and Starbucks. Other popular areas of employment on campus include athletics/campus recreation, public safety, facilities and housing, said McElroy.

When looking at what types of students are employed, McElroy said student employees tend to be upperclassmen.

“The freshmen on campus, they’re learning the ropes about school, so you don’t see too many freshmen working,” she said. “It’s usually students in their junior or senior year (who are hired). But, a lot of students who start working in freshman year will work the whole four years in the same department.”

While employees on campus are more often than not upperclassmen, employers do not place preference based on class standing.

“The philosophy of on-campus employment is like any other open market structure,” said Luis Lozano, assistant director of GVSU Financial Aid. “Students must actively engage in the job search process by identifying jobs through LakerJobs. Once an opportunity has been identified, the student — regardless of class standing — will have to go through the process of applying, interviewing and ultimately being selected for the position.”

In terms of minimum wage, McElroy said on-campus employers are actually ahead of the curve.

“The state minimum wage is going to go up to $8.50 an hour in January, but (GVSU) started that in September at the beginning of the academic year,” she said. “That’s basically where everybody starts. There are more involved positions that have more responsibilities, so the departments may pay those a little bit more.”

According to a GVSU annual report, the university paid student employees a total of $14,509,669 in wages in the 2014-15 academic year. In the same year, student employees averaged an earning of $2,204.

With an increase in minimum wage, jobs on campus have continued to rise substantially over the past few years.

“There are always job openings throughout the semester,” Lozano said. “Our recommendation is to look at LakerJobs as it is a live site and will reflect what is available both on and off-campus.”

For more information about available positions on campus, visit the LakerJobs website at