Work study opportunities appear on and off campus

Fifty-two profit and non-profit organizations are currently accepting applications from UA students for off-campus work study opportunities.

Organizations like the Humane Society, The American Cancer Society, and The Red Cross are working with UA Student Employment Services to provide off-campus opportunities for students to gain work experience and build a resume for future jobs, said Eunice Taylor, assistant director of Student Employment Services.

“Working on or off campus gives students a more well-rounded base,” Taylor said. “Not only are they providing a service to either their school or community, but they can always use the experience as a reference when they’re looking for a job.”

Although there are more than 30,000 students at the University, the school only offers around 800 on-campus work opportunities. This is because student employment is funded by the Federal Work-Study program and is allocated $1.5 million annually for student earnings, Taylor said.

According to the Student Employment Services’ website, students are allowed to work 12 to 15 hours per week. Depending on the job requirements, students can work up to 20 hours a week maximum. Jobs are distributed based on financial need. Students are given jobs on a first-come first-serve basis.

The FWS is divided into three categories: on-campus work, community service and tutoring programs, according to the Student Employment Services Supervisor’s Guide. Whether on-campus or off-campus, UA students are making anywhere from $7.25 to $9.25 an hour working on-campus jobs, tutoring elementary school children or working for organizations across Tuscaloosa.

“Students by law can choose what organization they work for,” Taylor said. “We have what we call tutoring that allows us to send University students to tutor students at the elementary school level. They help develop reading and writing skills through one-on-one time. The idea is to really improve [elementary students] in those two areas.”

Both America Reads and America Counts make elementary-level tutoring possible. The two programs were enacted in 1996 by the Clinton Administration and help build kids’ reading and math skills through one-on-one tutoring, according to the Student Employment Services Tutor Handbook.

Taylor said both on- and off-campus jobs have different requirements, but their impact on both the UA and Tuscaloosa communities is equally important.

“I can’t say whether on- or off- campus opportunities are more important,” Taylor said. “I think all the tasks are equally as important. Both opportunities are valuable because the organizations, whether it’s the Red Cross, Humane Society or the school system, receive free services. So I couldn’t dare say one is more important than the other.”

Renee Watson, a student employee and senior majoring in English, said she happened upon her job at Student Services by chance.

“I guess I was just at the right place at the right time,” Watson said. “I was at the Career Fair and it just so happened they had jobs available so I took one and this is the job I ended up with.”

Watson also said along with making money, the flexible schedule of an on-campus job is what she enjoys most.

“I get all the holidays and nights off of work,” Watson said. “It’s nice because I get the weekends off so I can go home if I want to.”

Application forms for Federal Work Study jobs are due by March 1. For more information about FWS opportunities, visit the Student Employment Services website at financialaid.ua.edu.

Fast Facts

The University offers about 800 on-campus job positions

Jobs can be worked 12 to 20 hours a week

Work study jobs pay between $7.25 and $9.25

Application forms for Federal Work Study jobs due March 1

More info: financialaid.ua.edu

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