Work study students face reduced hours due to “heavy budget constraints”

Written By Erin Yudt, Editor-Elect

Due to “heavy budget constraints” from the Federal work study program, work study students were contacted through the Federal Work Study Schoology page at the end of November to notify them that some students may be asked to lower their hours per week. 


Currently, there are around 150 students performing in federal work-study jobs for this academic year.


Debra Flint, a sophomore sports, arts and entertainment (SAEM) major, has worked in the office of Community Engagement and Leadership for about a year. As of now, she works about six to eight hours each week.


“Working with the Office of Community Engagement and Leadership has been amazing, my bosses more so,” Flint said. “I have an extremely flexible schedule that works with my other responsibilities. I am able to work whenever I can and because of that, it is up to me to determine how many hours a week I work.”


Due to the nature of Flint’s work study, she has not “felt this effect [reduced hours] as much as others.”


“The Schoology update about budget constraints as well as the current financial climate at Point Park makes it extremely easy to believe that the school is simply running out of money,” Flint said. “The first things to go are student privileges.”


With a new university president and an uncertain state of the economy, Flint appears unsettled about what these changes could mean.


“Knowing that our last President made over half of a million dollars a year, really is eye-opening to what Point Park deems as necessary spending,” Flint said. “The price of our food keeps going up, while our paychecks go down… I’m anxious to see how our new interim president handles or even changes the budget this year.”


Ashley Bruder, human resources coordinator and federal work-study coordinator, says that the “amount of work-study award [hours per week] can vary from student to student, as it depends on financial need.”


In response to the reduced hours, Bruder claims that the work-study budget is set by the U.S. government, not the university.


“We have to adhere to that budget,” Bruder said in an email to The Globe. “The budget we receive from the government was significantly lowered for the ’22-’23 school year. To stay under the budget departments had the amount of work-study hours that they could hire for reduced. Students may have been able to work 15 hours per week in years where the budget was high, but in a low budget year that can be reduced to the current 8-10 per week.”


Bruder did not specify why the potential cuts happened in between the fall and spring semesters but says that she is “hopeful” for the next academic year.


“The tentative budget for ’23-’24 has been significantly increased,” Bruder said. “We are hoping these cuts in hours will not affect our students next year.”