Wages and Merit Increases

The minimum wage rate for all Johns Hopkins University student positions is based on the Maryland State Minimum Wage. There is no cap on the hourly wage rate. However, the wage should be in-line with the job description, qualifications and required skills to do the job. The following is a list of pay types, pay methods, and information for granting merit increases.

Please be advised that the minimum wage is $15 starting on July 1, 2021, for the university and January 1, 2022 for the health system.


All wage-earning positions must have an “hourly” rate and “work schedule” rule. Wages are paid for services rendered and can be paid either hourly or salaried.


A fellowship typically furthers the education and training of the recipient in his or her individual capacity. Fellowships are paid to, or for the benefit of, an individual primarily to aid in the pursuit of study or research. To qualify as a fellowship, the payment must be a relatively disinterested “no strings attached” educational grant with no requirement on the recipient’s part to perform substantial services.


The term “stipend” typically refers to a fellowship but is sometimes used to refer to a salaried (wage) position. If the stipend is a wage-earning position, it must have an hourly rate and work-schedule rule.

Merit Increases

Wage increases for undergraduate and/or student hourly positions are determined by the individual hiring department and granted based on the department’s specifications. Some departments grant increases after a designated training period while others offer increases once a student has reached a certain number of hours worked. Most departments, however, provide an increase on an annual basis in conjunction with an annual performance evaluation. Increases for graduate students, working within their graduate department, are determined by their individual graduate departmental/program policies. The appropriate reason code to be used when processing a salary change for students is 03-General Increase.

For a copy of the Student Performance Evaluation Form, please visit the forms page.

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