Connecticut minimum wage increase affects work study

Adelia Couser

 Since the minimum wage increased in Connecticut in January, work study students will now earn more each hour, according to Human Resources recruiter Regina Leonard.

If students were paid $8.25 an hour last year, they will now earn the new minimum wage of $8.70 an hour.

This is the first minimum wage increase Connecticut has seen since 2010, according to Leonard.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy plans to raise the minimum wage to $9 by Jan. 1, 2015, which means Connecticut’s minimum wage will increase by 75 cents from 2013 to 2015.

Junior Mark O’Connor said it is a good idea for the minimum wage to be increased.

“A normal human being with inflation, they can’t really live, or they can’t really pay [for] the goods they need especially if they have a family,” he said.

The wage raise may deplete the work study award for student employment, Leonard said. Leonard advises students with work study to pay attention to their hours.

“If they continue at the same amount of hours they had before, they could be depleting their award faster,” she said. “If they’re trying to budget themselves, they don’t want to stop working in February when they had planned to keep working until May.”

Quinnipiac’s work study program provides part-time employment to students to help with college expenses. Students with work study are awarded a certain amount of money each semester; however, once they have earned that amount, they are no longer allowed to work.

“I hadn’t heard about [the minimum wage raise],” sophomore Jessi Garcia said, who works in Public Affairs with her work study award. “That would be really nice if I could make more money faster, or work more.”

O’Connor said students with work study should be given a higher award now that the minimum wage is higher.

“If they’re running out of money quicker than they should be compensated for that,” he said.