June 5, 2020

Work-study students relieved about pay during COVID-19

Many work study students have been unable to work after Webster University shut down its main campus. One week ago, the COVID-19 Task Force sent an email to students about Federal Work Study.

UPDATE: Webster University has confirmed students will receive payment of their work-study funds in one disbursement on April 24 based on their eligibility.

Alexa Riddle worked at Webster’s Department of Public Safety as a Federal Work-Study employee until COVID-19 caused a campus-wide shutdown. For Riddle, work-study helped keep her at Webster.

“Being paid work-study really helps me financially,” Riddle said.“I don’t know if I could afford to go here without it.”

The COVID-19 Task Force sent out an email to FWS students one week ago. The task force noted many people were asking if this form of financial aid was still going to be applied to their account. The email detailed what work-study students would be receiving in the weeks to come.

“If you are a Federal Work-Study student who is able to continue working remotely, you should make arrangements with your supervisor by March 29,” the email read. “If you are a student who is not able to continue working due to the pandemic after spring break, you will be paid for the average hours you were working through the remainder of the term.”

Leah Dwyer works in the Mathematics and Business department in the East Academic Building.
Having averaged about eight hours a week, she would have been on track to receive the full amount of work-study funds.

Dwyer was pleasantly surprised by the decision to pay students. She said that her money will go into savings rather than towards tuition. One thing that has been affecting Dwyer has been the lack of structure she faces without her job.

“Having to go to work in the morning keeps me focused and motivated,” Dwyer said. “Now that I’m home, my schedule is messed up, making it hard to stay motivated and organized.”

Financially, Dwyer’s parents have supported her while she could not work due to the outbreak. Now, she can continue to save money while taking her online courses. When she gets back to campus, she plans on using the money for errands and other needs.

For non-federal work-study students, the situation is different. These students also may be able to work remotely, but if they are not, they will receive a one-time payment of $350. The payment should be received by the end of April. Non-federal students may also receive a tuition credit of the same amount to apply to either the current semester or Fall 2020 semester, depending on graduation date.

A weight has been lifted off of Riddle’s shoulders because of these changes.

“With the whole quarantine and online courses stressing me out, it’s nice to have one less thing to worry about,” Riddle said.

Students were advised in the email to contact their supervisor with any questions.

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