NU Jobs brings options, confusion

By Georgina Maina and Ricky Thompson

When sophomore psychology major Christina Lavorna received word from Northeastern this summer that her federal work-study status had been changed to an NU Job, she was surprised and worried she wouldn’t be able to resume her previous position from the spring.

“I thought I would still do it, but I wouldn’t be getting paid, which is horrible because it’s a big commitment even when I could get paid for it,” said Lavorna, who was a tutor with the JumpStart mentoring program.

Lavorna said she did not know why the switch happened, but e-mailed her site manager at JumpStart, who was also unaware of the new program, to inquire whether she could still get paid.

“I think it sparked her to start looking into it and so she was able to switch me over, but I really don’t know how,” Lavorna said.

Lavorna is not the only student wondering about the new program.

Unlike work study, which is a need-based, federally-subsidized program, NU Jobs is a program that provides general student employment for part-time jobs on campus, according to Northeastern’s Student Financial Services website.

Students awarded money through NU Jobs go through the application process for a specific job and apply for that position, but cannot be awarded a position reserved specifically for students who qualify for a federal work study position.

Work study provides jobs for undergraduates, graduate students and law students, allowing them to earn money to help pay for educational expenses with awards ranging from $500 to $2,100 per term, the website says. Once a student has earned their allotted work study award, the student must stop working immediately.

An underlying difference between the two programs is that NU Jobs, unlike work study positions, are not guaranteed. The positions pay according to Northeastern’s budget, rather than the federal government’s.

Therefore, if a certain program’s budget cannot afford to hire students and pay them, the students are left without an option for utilizing their awards. NU Jobs are also open to people or students who do not attend Northeastern.

Sophomore criminal justice major Dayina Noel said she doesn’t think the program is fair.

“It’s not fair having to compete with outsiders when you pay so much money to go here,” Noel said.

Many students opt for the same work study job every semester because of convenience.

“It’s easier to have the same job every semester because I don’t have to learn anything new,” said middler computer engineering major Andrew Desalme.

To apply for work study or NU Jobs positions, students can log onto the myNEU portal and apply. For information on these jobs, visit www.financialaid.neu.edu/employment/overview.php.

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