More students find jobs at GV

GVL / Allison Young
Students with work study are employed around campus to help pay for tuition.

Allison Young

GVL / Allison Young Students with work study are employed around campus to help pay for tuition.

Samantha Belcher

The amount of Grand Valley State University students working on campus has seen a marginal rise in past years due to an expansion in student population and campus facilities. More than 2,500 students work at GVSU through the library, Campus Dining, Tutoring Center and other institutions.

According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, student employment hours have decreased across the country from 11 hours per week in 2000 through 2008 to 8 hours in 2009 through 2011. GVSU students work an average of 10 to 20 hours per week and can work a maximum of 25 hours.

“The amount depends on the job and the students’ schedule,” said Michelle Clancy, a graduate student working in the GVSU Employment Office.

Student wages vary from $7.40 per hour to $15 per hour, depending on the job. Leah DeWitt, a summer employee at the Central Utilities building, said working while in school allows students to become more independent.

“It gives you responsibility to manage time between work and studying,” she said.

In addition to university hires, GVSU academic departments can also hire students separately. Those jobs, like job opportunities from local businesses, are posted on the Employment Office’s job board.

While many students question whether they should devote time to working while in school, recent studies show that student employment may be educationally beneficial. A study conducted by the National Association of Student Employment Administrators found that working students do as well or better academically than students who do not work at all.

Clancy said campus jobs are very competitive.

“We do have a lot of students searching for jobs at the beginning of the semester,” she said.

GVSU also allows students to work on campus through the federally funded work study program, through which students are awarded an amount of federal money they can earn by working on campus. The amount of money awarded depends on the students’ FASFA form and financial need. After a work study student works their freshman year, the department in which the student is employed decides whether the student can work there the next year.

Clancy said despite the misconception at GVSU that work study students get “priority” over others when applying for a job, no such preference exists. However, because the federal government pays a portion of work study students’ paychecks, some departments choose to hire them over non-work study students, and some departments can only afford to hire work study students.

To find out more about work study, contact the Financial Aid office at 616-331-3234. For more information on student employment or to apply for on-campus jobs, visit

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