Work-study helps cost of college

Miami, Fla., sophomore Julian LeFort works in the Starbuck’s located in Moody Library as part of the work-study program to help pay for his tuition. (Travis Taylor | Lariat Photographer)

Miami, Fla., sophomore Julian LeFort works in the Starbuck’s located in Moody Library as part of the work-study program to help pay for his tuition. (Travis Taylor | Lariat Photographer)
Miami, Fla., sophomore Julian LeFort works in the Starbuck’s located in Moody Library as part of the work-study program to help pay for his tuition. (Travis Taylor | Lariat Photographer)
By Madison Ferril

For students who are a part of the work-study program, the added element of work can provide help with bills and give students extra spending money for a few hours outside of class per week.

Federal work-study requires the college to pay students federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25 an hour. Students cannot earn more than their work-study award in a semester. Baylor also offers jobs to students who do not receive federal work-study, but they must wait three weeks after the school year begins to apply for student worker positions.

Houston senior Sabrina Bosiacki, the student manager at Penland Dining Hall, said she does a little bit of everything at her job, from supervising student workers to creating schedules and filling out paperwork. She makes $8.05 an hour. She said students who work for Baylor Dining Services receive a 10 cent raise for each year they work and a 25 cent raise for each promotion.

“I’m clocked in for 15 hours each week, but I also do a bit of work outside of hours answering emails and things like that,” Bosiacki said.

Bosiacki said her shift starts at 3:30 in the afternoon and she tries to get everyone out by 8:30 p.m. The latest she has ever had to stay is 9:15.

“I live on campus, so the money I make at my job is just spending money, like if I need groceries or want to go shopping,” Bosiacki said.

Bosiacki said she would recommend a work-study job to students because of the convenience of on-campus jobs and the opportunities to move up.

“If you’re going to work, you may as well do it on campus,” Bosiacki said.

Baylor limits student hours to 20 hours per week while they are enrolled in classes to “protect the academic interests of the student.” In an email, the Student Financial Aid Office said students are allowed to work more than 20 hours per week, but they must be paid for overtime, which is one and a half times their usual pay. Media communications director Lori Fogleman said students can work overtime in instances of single events or short-term need by a department.

Payroll alerts the financial aid office if a student works overtime, and the financial aid office contacts the department to make sure the student is receiving overtime pay. They said they might recommend the department hire additional students if a student is regularly working over 20 hours per week.

According to the Student Financial Aid Office, students get paid every two weeks, though the federal requirements state students must only be paid once a month. Students cannot receive their work-study amount before classes begin. The Student Financial Aid Office could not be reached for comment about why some student salaries are capped.

Fogleman said the recommended student wage is $7.25 per hour.

“Departments work with financial aid if there is a compelling need for a higher wage,” Fogleman said.

Garland senior Chloe Rose, a forensic anthropology major, works as a student supervisor for Baylor Catering. She helps create student schedules, does paperwork at the Aramark office and helps train new employees.

She generally works 15-30 hours per week, depending on the number of events going on during a given week. If she works more than 20 hours in a week, she receives overtime pay.

She currently makes $7.80 per hour, and said students who work for the catering service receive a 15 cent raise each semester they work. She said she also received a raise when she became a student supervisor.

“The latest I’ve ever had to stay after an event during the school week was until about 11 or 11:30,” Rose said. “They’re good about letting students go early. They understand we have tests and classes and things like that.”

Rose said the latest she’s ever had to work is 2 a.m. after a football game.

“We started work late in the afternoon, and the football game starts at about 6 or 7, so it’s not like we work all day,” Rose said.

She said she generally makes enough per month to pay her rent, electricity and credit card bill. Her parents help her pay for gas and groceries.

“Most people don’t know catering has seasons,” Rose said. “From about December to February, there’s not a lot going on so my parents have to help me out more.”

Pickton junior Alyssa Miller said she works for the Executive office in the Sid Richardson building. She usually works 15 hours a week and receives minimum wage for her work. She said working as an office assistant does not provide opportunities for raises.

“I worked at Brookshire’s last semester in addition to my office job and school,” Miller said.

She said she did not return to her job at Brookshire’s this semester, so her parents help her pay bills.

“I usually make just enough to cover my rent,” Miller said. “I was supposed to have another person in my room at my apartment, but she ended up not being able to move in with me. So I pay half the rent myself.”

These experiences do not describe those of all students who participate in work-study, but they provide a snapshot of those students who choose to do so.