How Sequestration Is Really Going to Hurt Students on Work-Study

On the ground it may not look like the sequestration has had any dramatic impact on the functioning of the United States of America. The sun still arose. The subways still run. The stores still have food on the shelves. But for many college students, the sequestration mattered a lot.

That’s because 33,000 of them lost their campus jobs. According to an article by Tina A. Brown in Diverse Issues in Higher Education:

According to the U.S. Department of Education, about $1.2 billion was granted to students on 713,000 campuses during fiscal year 2010-11. “Federal work-study would be cut by $49 million, eliminating 33,000 students from participation,’’ federal officials say.

[Cheyney University of Pennsylvania’s director of financial aid operations, Michelle Burwell] posted a notice to students Friday on the university’s website, alerting them that the changes in funding were coming. She invited students to a workshop to discuss what the cuts might mean to them. “I had to write something. The students need to know,” Burwell said.

And what information did you convey in the workshop? Apply for more loans?

The federal work-study cuts constitute a miniscule portion of the federal budget, but have a real impact on the daily lives of American college students. Students use work study jobs to pay for living expenses. Cutting this money makes it very hard for students to function without assuming greater debt.

The cuts do not immediately mean every student on work study has no job and no paycheck. Individual colleges and states may find ways to keep students in current positions. But the impact here will be huge.

Here’s the breakdown by state.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer