There's a generational difference I've observed at work over the last few years since my company started hiring college grads again. And we, the direct supervisors and managers, are being instructed on how to 'accept' the working norms of our younger colleagues. Mostly apologetic nonsense written by members of a generation that palmed their kids off on others because they were so self-absorbed. What I see is the use of every means possible to glean the 'right' answer from a social network rather than figure it out for themselves. There is no comprehension of why taking these shortcuts doesn't prepare them to be leaders of the future.
Still, there is one positive trait I see from the generation entering the workforce now - many of the higher achievers view assignments in terms of achieving results, rather than punching the clock for an allotted number of hours a day. If they can deliver in 5 hours what it takes another person 8 hours, then why shouldn't they be paid by the result (higher reward) rather than the time served (lower reward)? Won't that motivate them to find efficiencies, challenge conventional wisdom, and move past incrementalism that gets in the way of innovation? As a manager, I judge my team by the results they achieve, but my leadership requires a minimum number of hours billed due to the way our client contracts are written. It's a fine line to tread.
Kat, if you believe that your student workers are delivering the quality and quantity of output in fewer hours than other employees are achieving, then by all means reward them appropriately. But make sure they understand it's a privilege, and it has to be earned. No shortcuts. Conversely, if they are slacking off, spending otherwise productive time texting and posting to Facebook how much their job sucks, then can you find a way to turn the task at hand into a positive challenge that will engage them?