Across-the-board spending cuts called sequestration could impact many of us, including work study students.
Work study is a form of federal financial aid for college students.
The student jobs give participants real-world experience and a paycheck to help pay for college and related costs.
If the automatic cuts take place as scheduled on March 1, more than 2,000 Virginia students could lose their work study jobs.
The jobs are usually at colleges, pay minimum wage, and give the students between 6 and 10 hours of work per week.
The paychecks may not be huge, but for some students and the financial aid officers who guide them, every little bit counts.
“Work study makes a big difference for a lot of people. It helps them make ends meet at the end of the month,” Virginia Western Community College Financial Aid Coordinator Chad Sartini said.
Kelley Swann is a work study student at Virginia Western Community College. Swann was asked about the possibility of not receiving a paycheck.
“I'd be stressed out, wondering how I'm going to get gas money because that's money that I need to come to school,” Swann said.
Financial aid officers are nervous about what this could mean at their schools.Fortunately, cuts to the main federal financial aid resources like Pell Grants are unlikely.
A representative for Roanoke College said that nearly 20 percent of local students rely on these paychecks for help.
The representative also said that a 6 to 10 percent cut in work study funding could mean around 35 students at Roanoke College alone will need to look elsewhere for those paychecks.