Most universities offer work study programs for students. The programs offer financial aid for students struggling to pay for college. According to the White House, around 510 fewer students in Mississippi would receive aid to help pay for college when the cuts kick in.
"My work study paycheck it contributes as far as like expenses, gas and transportation towards school." Patricia Ann Southerland is a graduate assistant in the financial aid department at southern miss.
She's worked their almost a year. "Since I am a graduate assistant I do get my tuition paid for and I do receive payment from the financial aid department for working."
There are about 400 work study students on campus. They each work about 20 hours a week and are paid $7.25 an hour; however, those numbers could soon change. About 150 fewer Mississippi college students will get work-study jobs if cuts are made, according to the White House.
"We have a lot of departments who have limited wage budgets so they hire work study students to fulfill job placement needs." David Williamson is the director of financial aid. He says the university is allocated 800 thousand dollars a year for their work study program. These students help fill positions in departments where they can't afford full-time work. Williamson says the cuts would hurt. "A lot of them have been depending on work study to help fill those clerical jobs, data entry jobs. They use work study students a lot for that - that would hurt them."
Now the university is waiting to see what congress decides. "Without work study I would be paying very expensive tuition. So it's going to put me through my master's degree," says Southerland.