Student jobs can’t meet the supply of high demand

The Federal Work-Study Program, formerly known as the College Work-Study Program, provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial needs.

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By Jessica Denilofs / Staff Writer

Help Wanted (Khai Le / Online Editor)

By Jessica Denilofs / Staff Writer

The Federal Work-Study Program, formerly known as the College Work-Study Program, provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial needs.

Who is applicable for the program?

Individuals and Institutions of Higher Education may apply for a distribution of funds to be awarded to undergraduate, vocational and graduate students enrolled or accepted for enrollment at an approximate 3,400 participating colleges.

The program distributed $640,000 this year, even after the recent budget cuts.

The district has to match the federal government award money proportionally.

Once the fund is divided, all the students in the district who are a part of the program will be earning approximately $800,000 total this year.

In previous years, all money was given to the Riverside City Campus.

However, the Moreno Valley Campus and Norco Campus have each grown into substantially larger colleges.

With the exponential growth, the money is now required to be spread out even thinner.

Additionally, the percentage of eligible students for the program has increased significantly. With this rise, students have a far fetched chance of getting accepted into the program.

According to http://www.Ed.gov, the official US Department of Education Web site, financial need is determined by the Department, using a standard formula established by Congress to evaluate the financial information reported on the FAFSA and to determine the expected family contribution.

The fundamental elements in the formula are the student’s income and assets, if the student is independent, the parents’ income and assets if the student is dependent, the family’s household size and the number of family members, excluding parents, attending postsecondary institutions.

With the current California budget crisis, more students are becoming eligible for the program. Various issues contributing to higher eligibility are family members losing jobs or being demoted to part time. Many students who were financially stable independents are now struggling to even keep their part time jobs, not to mention all the cuts that have been made to the most basic of on campus jobs.

Eugenia E. Vincent, the dean of student financial services, comments on the situation.

“We have never had this strong of a demand,” Vincent said. “Nor have we had this number of students that were eligible for federal work study.”

If there hadn’t been any budget cuts, it is possible the department may have received more funding, which would have resulted in placement for a greater amount of qualified students.

“If each campus were to become its own separate entity, then all may be able to receive their own adequate funding. Until then it will be a challenge to gain employment through the program since the same amount of money is being spread across a much larger group of people,” Vincent said.

All jobs were filled extremely fast due to the increased amount of eligible students, and there won’t be any more jobs available until next year. The only way to get a job through the program is if a qualified student has a status shift, such as no longer being enrolled, quitting, or termination from the job. Once a student has been removed from the program, an opening is available and can be checked on the status of their Web site.

The option is always open to check online regularly in the event that any openings arise. Students can go to http://www.rcc.edu/services/workforce/studentEmploy.cfm and click on the “job postings” link to check for any available positions.

The students who received jobs were the individuals who had their financial aid documents completed and returned in advance. When filling out financial aid documents for next year, check the Federal Work Study Program box and turn in all forms before the deadline. One must be eligible for financial aid to be able to be a part of the Federal Work Study Program, and eligibility referrals are available for pick up from the financial aid office.

Though there may not be any work study jobs available at the moment, there is also a student employment office on campus that serves as an alternative. There are always plenty of local job listings available for student consideration. Many different employers advertise in a range of career tracks such as childcare, sales and marketing. The employment office is located on the Lovkin Field, room F2 for any students who wish to see what alternative options are available.