University offsets dip in work study funds

The University will finance a larger portion of students’ Federal Work Study salaries this year after GW’s federal allotment was cut.

The federal allocation for the program dropped $400,000 when the government spread the same amount of funding over a broader span of schools. Individual departments compensated for the 15-percent loss with their own funds to avoid cutting the number of students employed through the program, Associate Vice President of Student Financial Assistance Dan Small said.

“Our anticipation is we’ll have roughly the same number of employees earning the same amount as last year,” Small said.

This year, the departments that employ the University’s 1,400 work study recipients will pay 30 percent of their salaries, up from the 75-25 split with the government last year.

Individual departments were notified in May that they would need to contribute more money toward the salaries of work study employees. No departments were unable to incorporate the additional commitment into their budgets to his knowledge, Small said.

“We’re spreading our dollars a little further. The University’s contributing an extra 5 percent,” Small said. “That gave us several hundred thousand dollars more into the pool.”

The University provided more than $3 million in total aid through the Federal Work Study program this year, of which about $2.5 million came from federal funding.

The Federal Work Study allocation to GW has seen a slow but steady decrease, with the exception of one-time federal stimulus money in 2009, Small said. He is hopeful, however, that the University’s share of federal money won’t continue to decrease.

“I feel GW will do what it can to make work study feasible since it is an important student aid program,” he said.

Small declined to say if the 70-30 funding split would be permanent or if he expected the University’s contribution to the salaries to increase further in the future, but noted that GW will continue to employ the same number of work-study students if federal funding allows.

“I do not foresee an immediate concern in which we will have to reduce our work force,” Small said.

Jeff Dagley, communications coordinator for the Career Center said it isn’t possible to estimate changes in the number of work study jobs over recent years because not all positions are posted through GWork.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.