In a move that NYU president Andrew Hamilton has proudly dubbed "a further step on affordability," Business Insider's #3 Most Expensive College—where matriculating freshman stare down a staggering annual tuition and board cost north of $65,000—has agreed to phase in a $15 hourly wage for student workers over the next three years.

Student workers at NYU, including tour guides, clerical workers, library attendants and office assistants, currently make as little as $9 per hour, according to current students. The average student debt at NYU is about $35,000, reportedly $11,000 over the national average.

"The topic that recurs most often in my meetings with students is affordability," said President Hamilton in his Thursday memo to students. According to his announcement, student worker minimum wages will be $12/hour in 2016-17, $13.50/hour in 2017-18, and $15.00/hour in 2018-19. According to the University, facilities, food service, and graduate student workers already have a $15 minimum wage.

In a December 2013 letter to the administration, New York University's Student Labor Action Movement (SLAM)—which has long pushed for a $15 minimum for student workers—urged the administration to adjust its spending priorities.

For context, former president John Sexton recently transitioned into retirement with a comfortable $800,000 annual pension, and in 2013 the NY Times reported on massive loans distributed to faculty and star professors for vacation homes in the Hamptons and Fire Island. The school's controversial NYU 2031 plan has directed billions in resources to campus expansion as tuition continues to creep up.

Sexton was also at the helm when 10,000 migrant workers constructing his massive Abu Dhabi campus were found to be subject to deplorable working conditions—from poorly-compensated and unwanted overtime, to squalid living quarters.

Hamilton, who lives in a newly-renovated penthouse in Greenwich Village, reiterated this week that he's secured the "lowest increase in cost-of-attendance in 20 years" at NYU—2%, down from the typical 3.5-3.9%.

According to SLAM, NYU is the first private school in their national network to instate a $15 minimum wage for student workers (the public University of Washington instated a $15 minimum last fall). Asked if he felt that Hamilton's investment in affordability is genuine, SLAM member and NYU Junior Drew Weber said that at this point, it's hard to say.

"He's definitely trying to give the impression of caring more about affordability than his predecessors," Weber said. "On one level I appreciate it, and it's great that we've gotten to this point after months of campaigning. But on another, I'm very skeptical. After all, he's chosen by the same board that chose every other president."