Tuesday, April 13, 2021
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Financial aid recipients feel the pinch

Nikki Bomgardner Culture Editor

Faculty, staff and students at UMKC are feeling the crunch of the latest budget cut.

According to an email sent by the UMKC Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships to all Bright Flight and Missouri Access Program recipients:

“The state of Missouri has informed us that there are insufficient funds to award the Bright Flight or Missouri Access program at the original predicted 2010-11 levels. Consequently, if you are a Bright Flight recipient, your award has been reduced from $1,900 to $1,500 for the academic year. If you are an Access Missouri recipient, your award has been reduced to $500 for the academic year. These award amounts remain tentative; final awards from the state will not be available until later in the fall semester.”

The federal work-study program also saw massive reductions.

Information about the budget/funding cuts were requested from the scholarship office. But the work study contact, Scott Young, refused to offer new information. Instead he cited an article previously written for UMatters, an online news source for faculty and staff of UMKC.

“For the 2010-11 academic year (AY), the number of work-study positions on campus will decrease by 46 percent from last year’s numbers. During the 2009-10 AY, UMKC received federal stimulus funds for our work-study program, which boosted the number of positions to a record 502. However, in 2010-11 the number of positions will drop to 275.”

Many offices that normally have a work-study position allocated to them lost funding, including Communiversity, KCUR and the history department.

Rick Mareske, coordinator for Communiversity, found the positive of the work-study cuts.

“My supervisor, Angela Cottrell [Director of Student Involvement], informed me that we wouldn’t be receiving any work-study assistance,” Mareske said. “I told her it would be impossible to run Communiversity on my own. She suggested that I use my office at the new student union and that we could run Communiversity as part of Student Involvement, as a team. It sounded doable to me, so I said yes and thank you.”

Mareske still faces a learning curve.

“The most challenging part is training everyone on Communiversity operations. We do three semesters a year and once you’ve been through it, most operations are repeated. The first time with all new people is a challenge,” Mareske said.

“The best part is that Communiversity is more integrated into a larger office with more resources and support. Long range, I believe this can be a positive move. If we get more work-study students in the future, I’m sure we’ll find space for them and there’s plenty to do.”

A number of students are unable to get a work-study job who had been offered a work-study grant. However, students may still apply for work-study grants.

“In order to receive a Work-Study award, you must apply using the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid, found at www.fafsa.ed.gov), be eligible according to federal standards, be enrolled at least half-time (six credit hours for undergraduate students, five credit hours for graduate students), and be making Satisfactory Academic Progress,” says UMKC’s financial aid website.

Each semester, all work-study jobs at UMKC are posted on CareerExec, the free UMKC employment database. A student must have a work-study award to view and apply for work-study jobs.

CareerExec also has listings for non-work-study positions, on and off campus, as well as internships. Students may upload their resumes and learn recruiting opportunities.

For more information visit www.sfa.edu.

nbomgardner@unews.com

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