Please forgive my English, I am not a native English speaker.

I am currently working as a computer programmer in some company. I am also a full time student, so I work part-time during the semesters, and full time during the summer.

I am in Canada, so there is 2-3 years of school between the end of high school and the beginning of University. I am aware that, in America, University and College mean pretty much the same thing. For the rest of this question, I will refer to those extra years in between as college, and to actual college as university, since that's how they're called here.

Usually, college is 2 years of "generic" classes, then in university you study your actual major. But, in College, you can also go straight away with a major, and spend 3 years there instead of two, and then you usually get credit for 1 or 2 semester’s worth of classes in university, so your total time in school is mostly the same.

I have been working as a programmer in this company for two years now, and I just finished college in programming. I am starting university in September.

At the company I am working for, the salary for students depends on their current education level. There is a fixed salary for High school, in college it's a little more, and in university it's even more.

Right now, I am starting this summer's full time work. Considering the fact that I have the same education as someone who is starting university, even arguably more since I spent 3 years in college (It's important to mention that I passed every single course with good grades on my first try, I didn't have to take any course twice), and I have a very good understanding of the company's technology and systems (it's a big company), so I require no extra training to do the exact same job as several older people that work with me as their life career, is it appropriate to ask for a raise to the university salary?

I realise that I am not in university, but I have been accepted so it's confirmed that I'm going. Obviously, since I'll work part time at that point, and I'm working full-time now, having the raise earlier means a big difference in my total earnings. I am a student living by himself, and I have enough money to sustain my life style, but I am certainly living a very modest life style, so the extra income would definitely be very appreciated.

I would like to know, as a student who is probably easy to replace, and not a "real" employee, is it appropriate to ask for this raise?

Also, since the company is very big and most of salary decisions are made automatically with a formula instead of negociated, how should I ask about it if I don't want to look like a self-centered entitled person?


2 Answers 2


I don't think it hurts to ask. Make an appointment with your manager to discuss it. Focus on your job performance and the value you have within your team/company. You're more likely get a raise based on your performance in your duties (if you are indeed performing at a level expected of non-student (graduated) full-time programmers).

If you go into the meeting challenging the policy directly, you're likely to find that the policy is pretty ironclad. They usually are when there's no compelling reason to work around it. If you can make the case that you deserve an exception to the policy, through your outstanding performance and value to the team/company, then you'll find that ironclad policies always leave room for exceptions. You just have to qualify for them.

  • I would be inclined to phrase it as "I know of the policy, but wonder if it is flexible or whether an exception could be made since {all your reasons}"
    – Móż
    Commented May 4, 2016 at 5:01

I wouldn't ask if I were you, they have a policy in place already, trying to change that is probably not an option, and you're, firstly, just a student, and secondly will be a part time worker. Don't become more effort than you're worth.

I would think your best chance of making more money is to find another part time job. I went through University with several part time jobs which changed fairly often (totally unrelated to my studies) which keep me in food and beer for the duration.

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