Princeton gives a pay raise to some of the most privileged people in the world

Princeton.
(Image credit: Illustrated | iStock)

A tweet from a Ph.D. candidate at Princeton University announced on Tuesday that graduate students at the school will receive substantial raises for the following academic year, and a statement from the university's office of communications later confirmed the news. Graduate students who currently earn $36,570 over 12 months (plus a waiver of tuition charges amounting to tens of thousands of dollars a year) will soon be earning $45,600.

The news reminded me of my own experience in graduate school in the mid-1990s at Michigan State University. For much of that time, I earned approximately $12,000 a year (plus a tuition waiver), which comes out to about $22,000 now. So things are definitely looking up for grad students, no doubt in large part because of unionization drives at campuses around the country. It would never have occurred to me to demand higher renumeration in return for reading books and trying my hand at producing scholarship for five years, but a higher income would have undoubtedly made life easier back then. I certainly wouldn't turn down the increased salary if I were a grad student today.

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