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Education news and issues in the Ozarks.

80 Percent of MSU Students Working On Campus and Off

Missouri State University

Missouri State University has more than 2,800 student employees across its system – which includes 300 federal work study participants - plus roughly 500 graduate assistants.

President Clif Smart says the biggest employers are in residence life, at JQH and Hammons Student Center, as well as Foster Family Recreation Center and the Bookstore.

He also wants you to know that while not all students are employed on campus, a large majority are working somewhere.

“While they all can’t work on campus - We just said there are about 3,300 that work on campus - The great bulk of them, 70-80 percent in a given semester, are working to help pay their way through school.”

Most MSU students come from middle income and working class families, Smart says, and their parents aren’t able to pay all of their tuition.

“And so so many of our students work to pay their way through school, and I think that’s good, too. It also helps keep their student loan debt down, and teaches them all of the good things that go with having to show up to work on time and having a positive attitude or work ethic.”

Smart adds that the university works to employ international students as well, since their student visas prohibit them from working off campus.

The addition of recent facilities like Foster Family Recreation Center has helped add students to the employee rolls, as will the reopening of Sunvilla Tower, which is currently under renovation.

“You go to any department on campus and you’re gonna find student workers,” Smart says, noting that in his office, Alissa is involved in “internet research and governmental affairs,” among other responsibilities.

During National Student Employment Week, beginning April 13, MSU will honor all campus workers and declare one the Student Employee of the Year.

“They are everywhere and they are learning, and we could not operate the university without them,” Smart says. 

Hear our full conversation with President Clif Smart above, as part of our monthly program Engaging the Community.