I have the time but not the money

A job on campus is probably one of the most convenient jobs to have. You don’t have to pay for transportation, they’re flexible with your class schedule and you can connect with other people around the university. Some on-campus jobs pay students through work-study. This essentially means students don’t get paid from their department’s budget; instead, the government writes the paychecks. Remember this piece of information.

According to Georgia State, The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for “undergraduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses.” Within the work-study program, there are three levels that have a set of criteria or skills a student has to have. This determines what wage students get at their work-study job.

Level 1 is $8.00-$8.50, Level 2 is $8.75-$9.00 and Level 3 is $9.50-$10.00. The more skills you have, the more you get paid. This sounds reasonable and all until you realize that you can only work 20 hours a week. 

The government writes our paychecks, and they have regulations of how many hours students can work. Over the summer, it’s 30 hours a week, and during the semester it’s 20. 

So imagine you are a Level 1 work-study employee making $8 an hour, 20 hours a week. This means every pay period your checks will be $320, but factoring in taxes, it’s closer to around $280. It’s simply unreasonable that a student should have to be living off of $280 for two weeks until their next paycheck. 

A typical budget allocates money for food, shoes, clothes, bills, personal expenses (going out with friends, for example) and savings. Of course, where there’s a will, there’s a way, but sometimes, that’s not the case, and there’s no way. So, to compensate, students often try to find other jobs to make up for the lack of income. This creates a whole new set of problems.

It is, quite frankly, impossible for a full-time student to work two jobs, maintain their academics, participate in extracurriculars as well as set aside some time for themselves. There just aren’t enough minutes in a day. 

I have a job through work-study on campus, and I love it. The flexibility is amazing and the opportunities that have been presented to me through the job have been amazing as well. I’ve been working there for almost a year, and I went from earning $10 an hour to $11. This is great, but the downside is I can only work 20 hours.

If you go on Indeed.com right now, you can find hundreds of jobs that pay $11 and more with no limit on hours. That’s enticing to me and others like me because money makes the world go round. This is especially relevant to Georgia State students because a lot of the students here are supporting themselves through school.

Georgia State students are some of the hardest-working college students, and it’s not fair that we have to break our backs because our own university and government can’t see the issue and meet us halfway.