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The History of Harvard's Commencement, Explained

Student Earnings Jump To New University High

By Richard L. Levine

Student earnings last year jumped an impressive 23 per cent or $140,000 from $619,650 in 1960-61 to an all-time high of $759,500. According to the Student Employment Office, the number of students working in those years also leaped--from 1600 to 1831.

A report by the Employment Office attributed this increase in part to its establishing a more "flexible work schedule," which enabled students to work at times more convenient to them. Its search for special skills which students might have, or in which it might train them, also helped to explain the increase in student employment.

Despite the increased amount of students working, the average wage itself managed to jump 7 per cent from the 1961 figure of $387 to a 1962 amount of $420. Wage rates in the University have constantly risen during the past years, in large part due to the efforts of the Student Employment Office, headed by Dunstin M. Burke '54. The office is a division of the Scholarship Committee.

Dining Halls Lead

The top earning areas for the students, which include 38 per cent of the undergraduate body, featured the dining halls with 478 students making $1.47 an hour plus meal for upperclassmen ($1.52 an hour for this year). Other large employment areas included the dorm crew (with 405 students), the HSA (321 students earning $100,000), Faculty Aide (91 students assisting faculty members), various libraries (247 students), and 339 students doing miscellaneous jobs for the University, such as meteorite analysts or clerks in University offices.

The largest increase was in the area included in "Miscellaneous University" jobs. In 1960-61, 221 students earned $83,900; last year 339 students earned $158,000.

As might have been expected, though, the average earnings in both years was directly proportional to the seniority of the students, with (last year) seniors averaging $437, juniors $422, sophomores $409 and freshmen $377.

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