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Thu Jan 4, 2018, 10:29 AM

ETS "offers" 27 percent pay cut to GRE raters (mostly adjuncts and grad students) [View all]

The Educational Testing Service which administers the SAT, the GRE, Advanced Placement tests of various types and several state assessments greeted some of its raters yesterday with an offer: take a 27 percent pay cut or quit your job effective Jan. 31, 2018.

Raters of the Graduate Record Exam were given a week to complete a "survey" that had only those two choices. The roster of GRE raters is made up primarily of the legion of already underpaid adjunct faculty (who often make less than $5,000 per class) and Ph.D. students (who scrape by on stipends of less than $20,000 per year).

The pay rate had been $20.60 per hour and had been that rate since 2008, when it was raised from $20 per hour. Of course, these are contract jobs with no benefits, and it is seasonal work, generally, as the heaviest GRE loads are in the autumn months as students around the world take the test in preparation for spring admissions decisions made by graduate faculty. Raters work shifts of either four or eight hours. In an eight-hour shift, a rater scores approximately 100 written responses.

In my busiest year, while I was adjunct teaching at Colorado State University, I logged close to 100 days of GRE scoring, which grossed about $16,000. Add that to teaching three courses per semester at $4,000 per course ($24,000), that's $40,000 working the equivalent of 1.5 jobs.

I'm lucky now that I have retired from the state of Colorado and collect my pension, and that I live in Iowa, where the cost of living is much less. But I imagine this came as quite a shock to those of us who need this money to get by. Given that we all have advanced degrees and untold experience in educational assessment, it could be demoralizing to see $15 per hour as the industry standard.

One last note: the ETS is a "nonprofit" corporation.

We found this email yesterday, sent at 11:49 a.m. CST, or 12:49 p.m. in Princeton, N.J., where ETS is located:

Dear GRE Rater,

We want to thank you for your commitment to the GRE program. It is through you that GREhas been able to achieve outstanding results and successfully support the academic advancement of so many students. Because you are a current Rater, we would like to make you aware of a change to Rater pay that will be implemented within our ETS Rater workforce.

Effective February 1, 2018 a new standardized pay rate of $15.00 an hour will be established for the GRE and TOEFL programs. This change is being made as part of an effort to bring Rater pay rates for ETS testing programs into closer alignment and to bring us into line with current industry standards.

GRE Raters have two options: you can elect to accept the new standard pay rate of $15.00 per hour and remain a GRE Rater, or you can elect to decline the pay reduction and resign your position as a GRE Rater.

We realize this adjustment will require some consideration on your part. However, we want you to know that we truly value the expertise you bring to scoring GRE responses and look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.

Please let us know which option you select by January 10, 2018 via the link below.


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Reply ETS "offers" 27 percent pay cut to GRE raters (mostly adjuncts and grad students) [View all]
jayschool2013 Jan 2018 OP
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mymelody Feb 2018 #3
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mymelody Mar 2018 #6
jayschool2013 Apr 2018 #7
mymelody Apr 2018 #8