The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Decreased funds lead to less work-study aid for students

For years, tuition for full-time students has risen steadily. This year was no exception. Tuition rose 4.1 percent from $32,090 last year to $33,430. However, students who receive work-study as part of their financial aid packages are in for a surprise.

Many, including junior Rebecca Allen, have seen their awards reduced or even eliminated.

“I was not awarded work-study at the beginning of the year and had to re-apply for it,” said Allen.

Members of the individual departments that hire work-study students have noticed a downward trend in hours as well.

“When I first started to work here (in 2005), I would say that most students had up to 12 hours,” said Susan McClanahan ‘73, collection management coordinator for the Hege Library. “It’s really rare if I see over 6.9 (hours) … it seems to be the standard today.”

Student Financial Services, the Guilford College department in charge of administering financial aid, points to reductions in Federal Work-Study grants Guilford receives from the U.S. Department of Education as the reason for some of the changes.

“We’re given a set amount of dollars from the federal government that we can use towards work-study,” said Benjamin Carmichael, assistant director of student financial services, in a joint interview with Brandi Wardell, director of student financial services. “When they reduced our funding, rather than give a smaller group of people a larger amount of money, we tried to stretch (it) over a larger group of people.”

For the 2009–2010 award year, Guilford received $245,680 from the Federal Work-Study program, according to the Department of Education. However, in the 2012–2013 award year, only $165,561 was allocated to the school.

This year, that number dropped to $147,919.

During that same period of time, tuition has risen approximately 20 percent from $27,850 in 2009.

Two years ago, the reduction in funds forced Student Financial Services to lower the maximum work-study award from $2,000 to $1,500.

“I will say that the allocation of funding from the federal government has probably been decreasing over a three to four year period,” said Wardell. “We saw a bigger hit two years ago, and that’s when the department had to make a decision as to how we were going to be able to help as many students as possible.”

Wardell also said that while most students receive the $1,500 cap, students may see their work-study award reduced later in their time at Guilford.

“If there’s a pattern of not really working the full amount of hours for a $1,500 award, we put the students at the pace that they have earned in the past,” said Wardell.

Students have expressed concern that lowering work-study awards while tuition continues to climb will adversely affect their ability to pay for school.

“It’s pretty much impossible even for a student who is on some kind of scholarship and receiving financial aid money or a work-study job,” said junior Tesia Burton. “It’ll be harder for them to stay here if that sort of thing is happening.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

The Guilfordian intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. The Guilfordian does not allow anonymous comments, and requires a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments.
All The Guilfordian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *