Work study renewals caused campus confusion


Jc Canicosa

The printer room in Monroe Library sits empty and devoid of work-study students. Several students were denied work-study for the 2018-2019 school year. Photo credit: Jc Canicosa

Jc Canicosa

When music education junior Hank Hendrix returned to the Whelan Children’s Center for his first shift of the fall semester, the center informed Hendrix that they did not have him on file.

This directed a confused Hendrix to a multitude of different Loyola offices in search for an answer to what happened to his federal work-study eligibility. Finally, Hendrix ended up in Thomas Hall at the Financial Aid Office where they informed him that Loyola had run out of work-study positions sooner than expected.

Hendrix was without a position at the Whelan Children’s Center where he had worked for two years.

“It was very unexpected,” said Hendrix. “I guess they have a certain amount they can give out every year, and I guess I didn’t make the cut for some reason.”

Hendrix is one of several students who found out they lost their work-study position after arriving at Loyola this fall.

Paul Pastorek, Loyola’s interim chief operating officer, sent out an email on Aug. 24 updating students on why they may have lost their work-study positions.

Some of these reasons for losing work-study funds include students receiving additional grants or a change in family income, according to the email.

The main reason that several students lost their work-study position was because of a substantial increase in enrollment this fall. The U.S. Department of Education awarded Loyola the same amount of federal funds for work-study this year as they awarded last year, despite an increase in overall students. As a result, the increase in enrollment pushed out several upperclassmen from their work-study positions, according to Pastorek.

Work-study funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so if a student did not turn in certain financial documents over the summer in a timely manner, then that student may have lost their work-study position for the fall.

This left several students, including psychology junior Juveriya Farooqui, scrambling for work and confused about what happened to their work-study positions when they arrived this fall.

“It would have been nice to know before school started that ‘due to this and that, we can’t afford to give you work-study,'” said Farooqui. “In the middle of classes starting, it gets hectic to try to figure that out so I wish we would have known beforehand instead of everyone basically running around.”

Students who had been pushed out of their work-study positions were given the option of sending out an appeal, an eight-question Google form that students can submit and have their work-study revocation reconsidered.

As of Aug. 29, 37 students have submitted an appeal and 29, including Hendrix, have already been approved, getting back their work-study positions.

Within the next few months, Loyola is going to add to its web system a portal where students can check on their work-study eligibility in real time. This portal should be operating by next semester in order to avoid future complications, according to Pastorek.

“I feel for the students who got confused, who were given some information and told they weren’t going to have the award and they didn’t see that coming,” said Pastorek. “That’s unfortunate, and we’re going to do a better job to make sure that they can access this information online so they can get it in real time.”