Gianna Beleno, '16, works in the Zoellner Arts Center Box Office on Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. The Box office deals montors the number of tickets sold for each show and production preformed in Zoellner. (Alexis McGowan/B&W Staff)

Students seek alternatives for work-study job positions


Lehigh students who qualify for financial aid are eligible for two types of support — “gift aid” and “self help.”

The self-help option awards students work-study allowances, which they can earn by working jobs on campus. Approximately 1,700 undergraduate students receive work study as a part of their financial aid package.

In recent years, however, it has become more competitive for students to receive work-study positions because of federal funding deductions.

“The funding for federal work study is being reduced each year,” said Jason Shumaker, the senior associate director in the Office of Financial Aid. “The funding is limited.”

In addition to the increasing competition for work-study positions, many students face difficulty finding non-work-study jobs, on or off campus. 

Some of the most popular non-work-study jobs on campus include positions at the Lehigh bookstore, Lehigh Catering Services, Lehigh Liners and Peer Tutoring. Additionally, off-campus restaurants and stores offer potential employment to Lehigh students.

The Goose, a popular lunch spot for Lehigh students, is located two blocks from campus. Home to sandwiches on the South Side, the restaurant will hire anyone, said its owner, Tony Silvoy.

“We look for flexibility when hiring,” Silvoy said. The complications that come from hiring a full-time student do not differ from that of any other employee, he said. 

Another popular place of employment for students searching for non-work-study positions is Saxbys Coffee. The Lehigh community is a large part of their business in South Bethlehem, Saxbys enjoys giving back to the student body by employing non-work-study students such as Carine Leslie, ’17.

The balancing act between work schedules and classes is a challenge for the eight non-work-study Lehigh students working at Saxbys.

“Our schedules are always subject to change and are usually pretty busy,” Leslie said. “It can make scheduling hard.”

Leslie said she works three to four times a week on shifts that last up to seven hours. However, the job has helped her financially.

“I really needed to make some extra money while at college, and it seemed like a great way to meet people,” Leslie said.

Students who do not wish to work in off-campus restaurants can also apply for a job in the Center for Academic Success.

Another popular non-work study, on-campus job is the Lehigh Liners, an outreach program affiliated with the Office of Advancement. Liners call Lehigh alumni, parents and friends to gain support for the annual giving campaign. The job employs approximately 45 students, both work-study and non-work-study. Students earn $10 per hour and are expected to work six hours a week.

Peer tutoring is another non-work-study option on campus. Tutors are paid up to $12 an hour for helping fellow students. Michaela Farley, ‘19, became a peer tutor this year.

“I applied to be a tutor because I wanted a job on campus,” Farley said. She never applied for financial aid, so a work-study position was not an option. 

The income is helping her to offset the cost of her college tuition.

“The money has benefited me financially as a student because I pay for my own textbooks,” Farley said. “It pays more than most jobs on campus.”

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