CORVALLIS - Oregon State University will add as many as 200 part-time jobs for students during the 2004-05 school year by allocating $300,000 to the university's work-study program.
As a result of legislative actions last session, OSU and other schools within the Oregon University System may only contribute a total of 8 percent of overall tuition revenue to scholarship funds - and those funds already are committed, officials say. The legislative cap on scholarships affects only tuition dollars, not private gifts to the university or the OSU Foundation. Nor does it affect the work-study program.
Rising tuition costs and the scholarship cap have combined to put a financial squeeze on students throughout Oregon's public universities, says OSU President Ed Ray.
"Expanding the work-study program will give a significant boost in need-based aid to OSU students without violating the spirit or intent of the legislative cap on scholarships," Ray said. "This move does two things: It provides additional funding for needy students who want to work - and we have many students who fit that description - and it provides some funding to departments who need support but cut student jobs because of recent budget reductions."
Ray indicated that he and others are talking with Gov. Ted Kulongoski's staff and legislators to try to remove the cap next legislative session.
Mark McCambridge, vice president for finance and administration at OSU, said the $300,000 will come from savings accrued during the last fiscal year.
The actual impact on the university will equal $400,000, through matching contributions from the Federal College Work-Study program, according to Kate Peterson, OSU director of Financial Aid. Federal contributions depend on the number of students placed in jobs as well as the university's contribution to work-study positions.
Last year, OSU placed 1,261 students in work-study jobs, Peterson said, and students who worked throughout the academic year earned an average of $1,800 to $2,000, although some students who worked only a term earned less.
"The $400,000 net boost to our work-study program represents an increase of about 40 percent over last year," Peterson said. "It should provide a significant boost for students who want to work. It also shows that OSU and especially President Ed Ray are committed to exploring every avenue to keep access open to students who want a quality higher education."
OSU work-study jobs will be posted online later this summer at http://oregonstate.edu/admin/finaid/workstudy/search.cfm.
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Ed Ray, 541-737-4133