Financial Awards Cause Work Study Restrictions

Emory & Henry likes to provide its students with a wealth of opportunities, including the chance to work for the school and make some extra money, which is a program called work study. However, this year that chance to work may be harder to come by for some students. And others might find that the money they earn may not be going where they want it.

Kim Steiner, Director of Human Resources and Title IX Director, is part of a new committee that deals with various issues, one of them being work study programs. “Really the biggest changes that were made to student employment, well we already had the policy that supervisors were to hire work study students, that is students who have been awarded either a federal or institutional award based on their financial status. What ended up being the case was that there was no clear way to ensure that was happening. What we ended up having was a bunch of students needing employment, whose jobs were taken by those not awarded the work study,” Steiner said of the committee’s actions.

While some exceptions have to be made, such as the case for lifeguards and other specialty jobs, supervisors for work study programs can now only hire students who have received this award. This is not the only change students will be facing. Where the money goes that students earn is based upon whether or not students received a federal award or an institutional award. If the award is federal, the student will get the money directly. Institutional awards are different in that they come from E&H directly, and the money that students earn through this award will go to paying off their student loans instead of directly in their pockets.

“The majority of work studies are institutionally funded, meaning that money will go towards paying off someone’s student account, because when we looked at what the purpose of student employment was, was to help students pay off their student tuition,” Steiner explained.

Work study programs include student instructors, desk workers and groundskeepers. Students use work studies to earn extra money for their various personal expenses that they could not otherwise get. Steiner stated that 80% of students are eligible for work study programs and that these measures will actually allow for more student employment in the future.

– Jeffrey Cowart

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