During the summer, many students go back home to summer jobs to make a little money while away from school. After working at Loras where employees are paid monthly, they might be shocked when their paycheck comes in after only two weeks. The idea of getting paid twice as often may seem like a nice bonus at first. Then reality hits when students come back to Loras and wait nearly two months until they receive their first paycheck. Biweekly pay is a nice convenience, but we think there are many more reasons why this method of payment should be adopted by Loras.
First, this system can help students be more frugal and wise with their spending habits. In general, people like to treat themselves when they receive their paycheck. If they get paid less during each pay period, they are likely to spend less. On the other hand, having a large payment each month gives students a false sense of security about how much they can spend.
Also, college students live in a sort of limbo. While we are no longer children relying completely on our parents, we are also are inexperienced budgeters. Depending on the level of support a student receives, making money stretch a full month can be difficult. College is a transition period in which parents often urge students to take on more responsibilities, such as phone plans, car insurance and even monthly college bills. While we don’t have as many payments as our parents do, we are starting to make some. Since payments are due at different times during the month, it can be hard to gauge how much money will be left over for other necessitates.
This transition increases as college continues. While we often live on Duhawk dollars and swipes in the café during the first couple of years, junior and senior years often lead to more payments, such as food and housing while living off campus. Once we start renting apartments or houses, we might choose to have a smaller meal plan if we don’t ditch it altogether. And different living situations often come with rent due each month, plus students learn that utility payments often are no longer included. This is especially a concern at the beginning of the semester, since the August pay period is combined with September’s, making students wait until mid-October for their first paycheck. Overall, it would give greater peace of mind to students to be paid biweekly.
Students are not the only ones affected by the pay schedule. What many don’t realize is that faculty and staff also are paid monthly. While students often complain about the difficulty of making money last, it might be just as hard for some faculty and staff members who have more than themselves to support and bigger bills to pay.
We understand the shift to biweekly pay would not be an easy one. The business office has more employees to pay than some of the companies we work for during the summer. We also understand there could be reasons we are not aware of that might make a shift difficult. But we think biweekly pay is a system that Loras should consider in the future for the benefit of its employees.