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Raising the Minimum Wage for Working Men and Women in California and the Rest of America

College and Minimum Wage

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Four decades ago, I managed quite well going to (then) Southwest State University on only minimum-wage jobs — at Green Giant all summer and as a hotel night clerk during school. The minimum wage back then was $1.60 and tuition was only $8 per credit per quarter, which meant that, as a full time student, I had to work only 4.3 hours a week for tuition; the rest paid for my living expenses.

In 1983, the minimum wage doubled to $3.25, but tuition at a Minnesota state university tripled to $23.35 per credit. One then had to work 6 hours a week for tuition—still easy. In 1993, the minimum wage inched up to $4.25 while tuition nearly doubled to $44.45 per credit. One then had to work 9 hours a week to cover tuition—still workable.

• Category: National • Tags: Kevin Possin