University of La Verne students are finding themselves unexpectedly unemployed this year, and many departments are short-staffed thanks to budget cuts and a reduced allocation of work-study funds from the Federal Work Study Program.
Such underemployment has put a strain on students who have depended on campus jobs to help cover the cost of tuition and living expenses.
“I have been affected by this,” said Alicia Norris, a sophomore math major, who relies on student employment.
“I have seen a cut in the money I’m earning now,” Norris added.
Faculty and staff are also feeling the effects of these cutbacks.
“We utilize students very much throughout the campus,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Frank Montalvo.
“They have cut approximately 25 percent of students on campus,” Montalvo said.
“The only thing we can do is to strategize to get students will be here a few years.” he added. “(The Human Resources Department) is competing for the same number of students against other departments.”
La Verne is not the only school affected by the budget cuts.
“It is the federal government who decides how much (work study money) is provided to each school,” said Associate Director of Financial Aid Jason Neal.
“We (then) provide the (work) for the neediest students,” Neal said.
According to the United States Department of Education, 75 percent of needy undergraduate or graduate students’ wages are provided by the Work Study program if they attend a participating institution.
In February, the Bush Administration released a summary of this year’s federal budget, which explains budgetary request from various agencies, including the Department of Education, through which Work Study awards are distributed.
According to that report, more federal grant money went to Pell Grant recipients for the nation’s neediest college students, leaving fewer dollars in the budget for Work Study awards.
These cuts could affect future students and even enrollment here.
“It will be harder for (students) to afford ... the college of their choice,” Norris said.
Jaclyn Gonzales can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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