Work study severely underfunded

Work study severely underfunded
Budget cuts and a shrunken economy caused a shortage of work study jobs. Jay Arcansalin/ UVU Review
Budget cuts and a shrunken economy caused a shortage of work study jobs. Jay Arcansalin/ UVU Review

Students who were able to obtain work study poitions relatively easily before now are finding themselves at a loss this year. And they’re in good company — the waiting list is just short of 300 people in line.

As is the norm in financial quandaries, several variables have come together to make obtaining a work study position all but impossible for most of the students who qualify.

First, the student base has grown significantly, ergo the number of students eligible for work study has grown as well.

Second, the Obama administration awarded supplemental funding for work study students last year — a complete surprise — and all eligible students were able to find positions. This year, according to Career Services and Financial Aid personell, the school received nothing. So, last year a false sense of security was built up for work study students who relied on the same positions in the semesters following.

Third, according to Joanne McCormick, senior director of the Financial Aid Department, UVU lost nearly half its funding to state budget cuts.

Finally, the economy tanked, and people started considering school as an alternative to work. With fewer jobs available outside UVU, thanks again to the shrunken economy, demand grew more than the strained budget could handle. Funding for work study was exhaused by Aug. 5, and the waiting list hasn’t moved since.

With the community unable to meet student need and work study positions are few and far between, it is feared that more students will rely on loans to keep themselves afloat. For those desperate to keep costs at a minimun, there are some planning alternatives to consider.

Students are encouraged to meet with their advisors about scheduling their courses to get through school and obtain their degrees as quickly as possible, in order to keep expenses down. For some, it may be plausable to consider full-time employment.

For others in need, student employment manager Laura Carlson is hoping employers at UVU will consider creating more part-time hourly wage positions for students. With the university shouldering an ever-increasing number of undergraduates, she feels that more of these types of jobs will ease the burdens of students and the university alike.

For more information on student planning, please see your advisor or visit uvu.edu/students/broaden/advising.html.

Leave a Reply