Federal Work-Study finds funds

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Pima Community College’s Financial Aid Office has replaced funding that was pulled from students working through the Federal Work-Study Program.

In the first half of March, the FWS Program suddenly cut awarded funding from students employed in the program.

Many students were left struggling to figure out how they were going to cover their daily expenses.

Executive Director Terra Benson and Student Services Coordinator Gretchen Shaulis re-allocated money from unused need-based grants for those students.

The need-based grants are doled out at the beginning of the fiscal school year as part of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.

When Benson and Shaulis reconciled funds, they found there was funding set aside for students who no longer qualified.

They pulled those funds back. Instead of re-allocating to students that had previously received the grant, or others who might be eligible for it, they used it for the FWS students.

“The majority of students who had a reduction had that amount replaced with a need-based grant,” Benson said.

Students received grant money proportionately, based on un-met needs.

If a student had received additional loans, scholarships or significant money from another source, that reflected on what their needs were and how much of the grant was allotted to them.

The grant applies directly toward tuition and fees for students enrolled in summer classes, after any scholarships are awarded.

Any money left over will be sent to students directly after summer classes begin.

“You’ll get cash in hand, just like your paychecks come to you,” Benson said.

The grants are already available to the FWS students who are not enrolled in summer classes.

“I’m really glad that we were able to do something positive,” Benson said.

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