University gets more cash for work study

GW’s Office of Financial Aid received an additional $1 million in Federal Work Study funds from the Department of Education over the summer, prompting an increase in work study jobs available both on and off campus, a University official said this week.

GW’s total Federal Work Study allocation now stands at $3.9 million, which will allow more than 1,500 work study students to work on campus, said Chris Roy, assistant director for employer partnership at the Career Center.

Despite the increase in work study jobs on campus, however, only 140 non-work study jobs are currently listed on GWork – the Career Center’s online job database.

While work study students have historically had an easier time finding on-campus jobs – the Federal Work Study program allows the federal government to pay 75 percent of a work study student’s salary – Roy said non-work study students can still find jobs on and off campus.

“Some departments fill jobs by hiring past students or by asking students to spread the word to friends and roommates,” Roy said. “Also, sometimes departments post flyers around the department to attract students who belong to that department.”

The Career Center also has an ongoing list of employers who have hired larger volumes of non-work study students in the past that includes Colonial Connection, Gelman Library, Lerner Health and Wellness Center, the Marvin Center, Undergraduate Admissions and the Smith Center.

However, despite the resources available for non-work study students to find jobs, finding an on-campus job will still pose difficulties.

“If we have equally qualified students who have similar experiences and similar schedules of availability and some are work study and some are not, interviewing the work study applicants makes the most sense from a departmental budget standpoint,” said John Danneker, manager of the Eckles Library on the Mount Vernon campus. “That being said, having a work study award alone does not guarantee a position.”

Although non-work study students may find it harder to find a job, the additional Federal Work Study funds have allowed the University to expand the number of local and nonprofit business in the D.C. area that will hire GW students this fall, said Associate Vice President for Student and Academic Support Services Peter Konwerski.

The Federal Work Study program encourages nonprofits to utilize the program and hire students as employees to both help them pay for their education and earn work experience to make the job search process easier upon graduation.

The additional Federal Work Study money will mean that federal agencies and local nonprofits who were not able to offer paid positions in the past will be able to offer more paid positions to work study students. Konwerski said the additional funds will open up hundreds of new jobs for work study students at places like the Partnership for Public Service, Ark Foundation of Africa, Jews United for Justice and the D.C. Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Konwerski said SASS plans on reaching out to students in the coming weeks to let them know of all new employment opportunities.

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