More than 4600 employees at the University of South Alabama, USA Children’s and Women’s Hospital and the Mitchell Cancer Institute are getting a one-time $1,000 bonus this year.
“In order to attract quality employees and retain quality employees, they need to be appropriately compensated,” says University spokesman Bob Lowry.
The bonus is just for full-time employees hired after June first. Part-time employees get a pro-rated amount. In total, they’re doling out $5,447,400.
Tuition for students at South Alabama has gone up every year for the past four years, including a 2% increase this year. Therefore, we expected students to be angry about this one-time $1,000 bonus. However, that’s not the response we got.
Freshman Lauren Carruba lives on campus and says she pays $15,000 a year in tuition.
“I think it’s a really good thing, USA’s tuition is already relatively low compared to other universities and I think that’s a sacrifice the students should definitely be willing to make. Our teachers work really hard for us and it’s a great thing for us to be doing for them, says Carruba.
“I don’t like to see tuition go up cause we have to pay more, but in the same sense, it’s a great school, they’re doing a lot of stuff with it and it’s up and coming,” says Freshman Austin Reinke.
And some sympathize with employees, wishing the bonus had been a raise.
“Getting a cash bonus or bonus on their check is not beneficial in the long run for them because they benefit from that in retirement,” says Kendra McKee.
With the 2% tuition bump this year, the University looks to generate roughly $2 million. The university is paying out more than double that for the bonuses. Lowry says, though, the money from tuition hikes is going to benefit the students—by way of programs advising freshmen on how to graduate in four years and move on into a career.
“And that reduces their cost and that’s something that we can control a lot easier than the cost of tuition,” says Lowry.
The bonuses will be paid out December 11.