This semester, financial aid has introduced a new hiring system for student employment that is streamlining how students find employment and submit necessary forms. The new system has been an ongoing project since last year and was put into the final stages this summer.
According to the Director of Financial Aid, Denise Scalzo, the change in the new hiring system was prompted by bi-yearly surveys taken by undergraduate and graduate students that showed dissatisfaction with finding student employment and handing in forms to financial aid. Scalzo emphasized the importance of addressing the issues students were facing saying, “Our division [Financial Aid] takes those surveys really seriously.”
In previous years under the old hiring system, some students couldn’t find student employment postings online and would usually ask different departments if they had positions available.
In addition to this, students previously had to download forms such as the I-9 and W-4 and submit them along with formal identification in person to financial aid each year that they worked.
Now with the new system, Scalzo reports that financial aid has a web page specifically dedicated to student employment, making it easier for students to find and apply for jobs online.
Submitting paperwork has also become a simpler process called onboarding, where new student workers are sent all necessary forms electronically. These electronic forms prevent students from having to come into the financial aid office and avoids the issue of students handing in unfinished forms. Now, students are only asked to come into the financial aid office to submit a photo for formal identification.
In addition to having a web page dedicated to student employment, students can also pick up a handout explaining the process for how to find the web page, check availability for employment, and next steps after applying.
However, Scalzo notes that if students still need help applying they are welcome to visit the financial aid office, where one of the representatives will offer hands on help at one of their computer stations.
Despite streamlining the process and making it easier for students to find employment, the new system is not unflawed.
Kaitlin Scheie, administrative assistant in the communication department, is in charge of hiring work study students.
One issue Scheie encountered is that when she has re-hired approved student employees through the old system, the student appeared to have incomplete forms in the new system.
However, returning students who worked the previous year are no longer required to hand in forms each year.
Though there may be confusion, Scalzo states that some departments may have trouble re-hiring students who have not filed FAFSA, have missing or incomplete forms when first hired, or have accepted work study but not worked the previous year.
As the process goes on, Scalzo says that it is her vision to make this an even better process by introducing new possibilities. One thing she mentioned going forward is joining up with the ID Office to save students the trouble of having to come into the financial aid office to submit formal identification.
Another thing she mentioned is adding off campus jobs as a student employment opportunity. Scalzo also said that she is likely to email students to inform them of more sessions to help them through the new system because these employment opportunities help students develop skills needed in the real world.
The office of financial aid also provides their official statement on their website.
“From help with applying for financial aid to managing student employment on campus to offering resources on how to better manage your money, the Office of Financial Aid Administration is here to answer your questions and help find solutions.”