By Brant Ozanich
The Financial Aid Office at City College has placed a temporary freeze on hiring new work-study employees until the new fiscal year begins this summer.
The freeze is a result of budgeting $850,000 for the current semester and is a way to ensure that the current students on work study can remain employed for the remainder of the semester.
“The freeze is just a way to make sure that we have enough money for spring,” Roland Montemayor, associate dean of the financial aid office said. “We manage our own money so we have to look at how we’re spending it.”
Funds for Summer
Hiring will resume in the summer when $100,000 more is allocated to the program, on top of the $850,000 that the program already receives yearly, Montemayor said.
Of the roughly 30,000 City College students receiving financial aid, between 350 and 400, or 1 percent, participate in the work-study program for more than 120 different departments.
Work Study Benefits
Students are allowed to work 15 hours per week maximum for a length of time specified by the department doing the hiring.
“It’s a good way to gain experience, money and work on campus,” Montemayor said.
Students have to be approved for work study before they are allowed to do a job, but the process simply requires checking a box to indicate the student is interested in work study when they submit their application for financial aid, Montemayor said.
“If there was no work study, I would just focus on my academics because it’s too hard to find a job elsewhere,” Joyce Lin, a work study participant and Learning Assistance Center front desk worker said. “Work study gives students an opportunity to have a job. It helps sustain their basic needs.”
The CalWORKS program, which receives funding from a different source, will not freeze hiring, Rebecca Wolf, program coordinator of CalWORKS at City College said.
“A lot of departments are calling us looking for students to work,” Wolf said. “It is the same kind of program as work study.”
The only difference, Wolf said, is that CalWORKS students must be on cash aid, have children and be cleared by the Department of Human Services.
CalWORKS provides an opportunity for parents who are unable to get a job elsewhere, but work study provides jobs for students who are unable to get a job off campus.
Some students do not think work study is a valuable use of time and would rather work elsewhere in the city where jobs could pay more.
“They pay too little, and I couldn’t survive on what they pay,” Francesca Mixco, a former City College student said. “They ask and demand a lot from you as students.”