Work study students say pay raise is good but not enough


Anna Hummel

Photoillustration features a student with money in their back pocket. Work study students will now be paid higher wages.

Macie Batson, Senior Staff Writer

Loyola students said they felt “encouraged” and “ecstatic” when the Office of Student Employment announced Loyola’s work study pay being raised.

Loyola’s federal work study pay will be raised to $10 per hour from $7.25, and community-based work study pay will be raised to $13 per hour from $10 early next year, according to student employment. Student employment also said that most Federal Work Study awards will be increased by $400 from $1,600 to $2,000.

Louisiana has the lowest possible minimum wage in the country, which may surprise some out-of-state Loyola students when they receive their first paycheck.

Deshaun Douglas, a computer information systems sophomore and Media Services assistant, said that he feels encouraged that Loyola’s pay is being raised as it shows that Loyola does not ignore students and the financial aid that is needed. However, he said more should be done.

“While I’ll admit that I personally feel that $12 an hour should be the minimum and that there should be more energy working towards financial assistance on all notions for students, as a student, I’m satisfied to an extent,” Douglas said.

Student Employment Coordinator Emir Bailey said the pay increase will allow students to earn their award at a faster, more reasonable pace.

“We want to ensure that students have a viable path to award completion so they can feasibly earn all the funds that are made available to them for earning,” Bailey said.
Bailey added that student employment has put aside funds from the Federal Work Study budget in the event that students use up their award, and that work study supervisors would be able to request more funds for their employees. He also said that additional funds can be provided if the student still has financial need as determined by the Office of Financial Aid.

Morgan Love, a psychology sophomore and tutor at Holy Name of Jesus Elementary School, said she believes that no student deserves to work for such a low rate to pay for school. She added that as Loyola continues to raise the price of tuition, the institution should ensure that student and faculty incomes are adjusted to reflect this increase.

“The wage could definitely be higher. Students work extra hard to continue working during school and they deserve the highest pay for their sacrifices,” Love said. “Working during school is not ideal. Students deserve their free time after class. They deserve to not be in an office all day after being at a desk all day.”

Bailey said that student employment commends every student who commits to working while in school.

“Being a scholar and student employee is a very hard thing to accomplish,” Bailey said. “We applaud anyone who takes on this responsibility as it takes a certain level of commitment and balance to manage the two worlds.”

This pay increase will have a positive impact on student morale, Bailey said, as students are more likely to earn the entirety of their Federal Work Study award and take care of the necessary financial obligations that they set out to.

“Students are excited to work a wage that allows them to have a more balanced schedule with their studies,” Bailey said.

Glendis Lacan-Sontay, a biology sophomore who works as desk staff at Monroe Library, said she is delighted about the wage increase and that many of her peers have been asking for it for a long time.

“The pay raise is definitely a great motive for students to stay on campus to work and get the experience from it as well,” Lacan-Sontay said. “Many face financial struggles such as myself, in which the minimum pay could not help as much as we want, so it’s great to hear that’ll change a bit.”

For the fall semester, Bailey said student employment implemented a new process in which students can submit an appeal to determine if they are eligible for Federal Work Study if not previously awarded.

Bailey recommends students fill out the appeal form and check their financial aid packet or LORA Self-Service for rewards. Bailey added that The Office of Financial Aid has been “extremely responsive” to students’ inquiries about their Federal Work Study status.

However, according to Bailey, completing this form does not guarantee that it will be awarded. Rather, Bailey said it allows the Office of Financial Aid to determine whether there is available funding and additional financial need based on the respective student’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid information and overall current award package.

“We want to see more students work on campus, knowing that the connections you build with our departments serve as excellent mentoring and growth opportunities,” Bailey said.

More information about Federal Work Study is available on the Federal Work Study Program Page on Loyola’s website.

Editor’s note: This story has been edited to correct a pronoun attribution error.