By Gariné Tcholakian
Ryerson’s Work Study program had its funding more than quadrupled in the past two years, which should make it easier for students in financial need to find work without ever leaving campus.
“I’m very excited,” said Carole Scrase, manager of student financial assistance. “From our perspective we were very happy.”
Toward the start of this calendar year, the Ontario government said it would increase its financial commitment to post-secondary Work Study programs.
In August, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities committed $347,000 to Ryerson’s program. Coupled with money taken from students’ tuition fees—30 per cent of all tuition hikes has gone toward student aid—there is more than $800,000 to put toward hiring students on campus.
Since 1998, ministry funding to Ryerson’s Work Study program has increased more than 450 per cent.
Ministry funding is tied to university enrolment and local unemployment rates.
Last school year, the ministry gave Ryerson $108,000 to run the program, up from $68,000 in 1998/99.
The program finds part-time, on-campus work for students in financial need. Jobs range from assisting professors to keeping statistics for varsity sports teams.
The jobs are given out through the financial aid and awards office. Students work up to 15 hours a week for an hourly wage, and can earn a maximum of $2,000 each school year. To demonstrate financial need, students must be on OSAP and present a budget.