Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid to pay Spring Quarter work-study funds


Daily file photo by Jeffrey Wang

The Office of Financial Aid, 1801 Hinman Ave, houses the work-study program.

Catherine Buchaniec, Design Editor

In an email obtained by The Daily, the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid informed some students with Federal Work-Study jobs of its intention to pay Spring Quarter wages regardless of students’ ability to work remotely.

“In place of actual hours worked, you will be paid for the same number of hours in Spring Quarter as you earned in Winter Quarter, up to the maximum of the amount awarded to you,” the Office wrote.

The email explained students will be notified the week of April 13 of the exact amount they are eligible for. That amount will then be delivered to student accounts on or before the date of their expected first Spring Quarter paycheck.

The amount awarded will not exceed students’ annual awarded limit, the email added.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, existing federal law includes a provision allowing an institution to make Federal Work-Study payments under certain limited circumstances to disaster-affected students who are unable to continue working.

In light of the current public health crisis, the Federal Student Aid Department issued further guidance on March 5, addressing concerns expressed by higher education leaders regarding how they ought to comply with federal law.

In the notice, the Federal Student Aid Department said students can continue to be paid Federal Work-Study wages by their respective institution if their employer closes after the beginning of a term because of COVID-19. This provision is only applicable if the college also continues to pay its faculty and staff, as well as its share of the Federal Work-Study wages.

However, as of April 1, the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid’s website still currently states this flexibility regarding work-study wages does not apply to Northwestern’s campus.

According to the office’s website, employees in the Federal Work-Study program can be paid only for hours worked. To replace lost earnings, the office recommends students inquire with them about interest-free loan options.

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