Compensation for Student Leaders

Topics: Student Government, Student Organizations and Activities, Student Experience, Student Affairs, Student Activity Fees

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This report examines compensation in student leadership roles, including student government, student publications staff, and resident assistants. The research explores the amount, type, and rationale for compensating student leaders, as well as funding sources and oversight of student compensation.

  • Key observations from our research:

    1. Student government leaders at three of six contact institutions receive compensation.

    2. Other paid student leadership positions include resident assistants, student publications staff, orientation leaders, and students in service provision organizations (e.g., groups that provide sound and lighting for campus events).

    3. Student leaders who receive hourly wages contribute between 15 and 20 hours per week to their roles and receive between $7.50 and $12 per hour.

    4. Funding sources for student leadership compensation include student activities budgets, departmental budgets, and external revenue.

    5. Student affairs administrators state that the intended purpose for compensating student leaders is to promote inclusion and ensure that students who need to work can still pursue leadership roles on campus .

    6. Administrators and students at profiled institutions participate in informal discussions and focus groups to evaluate the effectiveness of compensation policies.