Student work-study jobs reduced

"Roughly 400 students came to Oswego State expecting a job funded by the Federal Work-Study program this fall. According to the Financial Aid Office at Oswego State, only 300 to 350 of those students are expected to receive the federal funding they need.

"According to Mark Humbert, director of Financial Aid, in the 2009- 2010 school year, Oswego State received around $360,000 with which to pay students in the work-study program. Oswego has received about $300,000 for the current academic year and doesn’t expect to get the $60,000 deficit back.

""That turned out to be like a 20 percent reduction in the payroll for our students, and that’s a direct hit to students," said Humbert.

"These cuts are expected to leave roughly 60- 70 students, who had relied on the program last year, without work-study jobs. The financial aid office, however, was able to save some jobs by cutting hours.

"Most students were not actually working all of the hours they had been granted. The average eligibility in terms of hours was 1,400 per year, but the average hours worked last year was 960.

"The financial aid office hopes to employ 300- 350 students using Federal Work-Study funds, which would make up about 25 percent of the students on campus.

""I wouldn’t want students to get discouraged, thinking there isn’t a job on campus, there are a lot of them … We can’t control what the feds do, but there are places on campus to work," Humbert said.

"Alternative jobs not funded federally are supplied by Auxiliary Services, Residence Life and Housing and several academic departments. It is too soon to tell if the applications have increased due to the cuts in work-study, or if there is a net loss of jobs on campus. Yet, according to Res. Life, The Village has created new jobs for students.

"Shelly Reifke, the Communications Studies secretary, replaced two students with three more. She also decreased hours per week for each student from seven to five. Reifke said she didn’t feel the jobs were strained but the hours were.

"Sophomore Amanda DiRosa felt the effect of the cuts. DiRosa’s grant was cut completely, leaving her on the waiting list when she called financial aid a week before classes began.

""I would have liked to know if I had to look for another job a little sooner, which I ultimately had to do," said DiRosa.

"DiRosa applied to Penfield Library and several Auxiliary Services jobs and was placed in Littlepage Dining Hall.

""As soon as I heard they had cut so much from the program and found out I wasn’t on the list, I knew there was going to be trouble. I was going to be looking for a job where everyone else that got cut would be looking," DiRosa said.

"Humbert said that the financial aid office would have to make sure as many students that want jobs, have them. He also wants students with questions to stop in, call or e-mail. Many students just don’t ask when the office is there to help.

""I believe the campus will still come up with the jobs for these students, but it has to come out of campus money rather than federal money," Humbert said.


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