Work study programs unaffected by cuts

December 15, 2010

by Zach Beaird, Staff Reporter

Despite budget cuts throughout the university, the Federal Work Study Program, a federally-funded program that grants students financial aid through on-campus work, has seen a rise in student employment.

With 200 students already employed at Tech through work study, Jamie Hancock, student employment coordinator, said more departments across campus are requesting work study students.

“Students’ wages usually come from the department’s account they work for,” Hancock said. “Now with the budget cuts, more departments are requesting work study students to help save money.”

Hancock said work study students are not given different jobs and wages than others who are employed on campus though the money come from different funds. 

She said work study is a way to help students who have financial needs gain financial aid by working on campus. She said students can apply for this aid through their Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

“Students can express their interest in work study when filling out their FAFSA,” Hancock said. “Then we can see where workers are needed and place them accordingly.”

Shameka Johnson, a senior biology and pre-dental major, is one of the many students employed through work study.

Johnson began working through work study in June 2010 at the Prescott Memorial Library where she works in circulation.

She said being able to work on campus, through work study has been more manageable than holding a job outside of school.

“An off-campus job doesn’t offer the kind of breaks working in the library does,” Johnson said. “I do my job, and when I’m done with what I have to do, I’m able to use my time to focus on school.”

Erica Laque, a freshman wildlife and habitat management major, is employed with the School of Forestry through work study.

Laque works a variety of jobs including conducting monthly inspections on forestry vehicles, driving forestry vehicles and helping in the soil lab.

Laque said she felt the hands-on experience her job has given her has helped her in classes.

“I get more involved with school through my job,” Laque said. “It’s made me understand more of the material in class, and if I ever have a question I’m already in the office.”

She said she also sees work study as an aid for her future after college.

“Being more active in my college helps me for my future career,” Laque said. “It looks good on a resume to have that kind of experience.” 

Though students are encouraged to apply for work study through their FAFSA, Hancock said students can also inquire in the Financial Aid Office in Keeny Hall, Room 240 where they will be placed on a list until they can be employed.

“Work study goes on a first-come, first-served basis,” Hancock said. “Students should get their FAFSA done as quickly as possible so they have a better chance to get a job. However, if all of our funds are not used, our funds are cut so students can still come apply in case they may be needed; the more the better.”

E-mail comments to zcb001@latech.edu.