Is Work-Study Working Out For Students?

A collage of students at various work-study jobs. Photo collage by Daniel Pearson.

Marissa Gebeau knew she needed a job. But where, pray tell, could she find one?

Stuck at Chapman University without a car, the sophomore dance major’s only option was to look on campus for employment. 

Gebeau is eligible for work-study. But after a few months applying to five jobs, she estimated, she heard radio silence from student employment.  

“It annoys me because the school told me that I could have this and it seems like they weren’t trying to help me,” Gebeau said.

Sophomore Marissa Gebeau. Photo courtesy of Gebeau.

While Chapman seems to have many jobs lined up for students, from a mail room attendant to a dodge college tour guide, more and more students are finding it difficult to secure a job. Whether applying with or without work-study, the luxury of an on-campus job seems to be running thin.

Sophomore integrated education studies major Emily Ardent wasn’t eligible for work-study, and found no on-campus jobs that were willing to take her.

Even while applying specifically to jobs that didn’t have a work-study requirement, Ardent got email after email being told she wasn’t eligible for the position – because she didn’t have work-study.

“I was bummed because the ones I applied for didn’t say work-study so I felt confident I would be able to get at least an interview,” Ardent said.

Haley Slovenec, Chapman’s student employment coordinator, said the process is competitive because of how many students apply compared to the amount of jobs available.

Student Employment Services Coordinator Haley Slovenec. Photo courtesy of Slovenec.

Max Teruel, a sophomore sociology student, doesn’t need to be told that twice. He waited over two months to hear back from the student employment services about a job. 

“It was really competitive,” Teurel said. “It sucks if you really need a job.”

But, Slovenec said that the student employment center can be a help. By offering meetings from both the Student Employment Center and Career Development Center, Slovenec said they can help make the process feel less competitive.

While there are students who feel as though it was an uphill battle to get a job, there are still many who felt as though the process was as easy as can be.

Teruel said the wait was nail-biting, but is ecstatic he was able to get a job, and even gives a five-star review on the flexible schedule and nice bosses.

Meanwhile, Julia Hwang, a sophomore strategic corporate communications major, said applying for work-study turned out to be easier than she thought after seeing it on her financial aid pack.

“It was pretty easy, just like a regular application,” Hwang said.

Sophomore Julia Hwang working at her desk job in Argyros Forum. Photo by Stemmler.

Slovenec was also once a student at Chapman herself, and had an on-campus job through work-study.

“The process was difficult, but the opportunities for growth are far greater,” Slovenec said.

Slovenec also adds that while she doesn’t have the statistics for how many students apply for jobs compared to jobs available, Chapman has recently added new jobs for work-study students with off-campus jobs. 

Another student without a car, sophomore dance major Kasey Latten, was worried on her move from Shaker Heights, Ohio about her ability to afford her college experience. 

“My family helps with tuition, but things like food and clothes I take care of,” Latten said.

But after seeing she was eligible for work-study, a few months into working at the mail office in the K residence hall, Latten said she loves her job – easy as simply submitting a resume. 

Kasey Latten sitting at her job in The K Residence Hall. Photo by Stemmler.

“I get paid to just sit there and watch movies,” Latten said. 

Now a few months later, Gebeau and Ardent are still on the job search, but now have a wide range of possibilities.

“I know working on campus isn’t possible for me,” Ardent said. “But luckily we are so close to a lot of other businesses who hire Chapman Students, so my possibilities are endless.”









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Marjorie Stemmler is a sophomore English major with an emphasis in journalism. Aside from school, Marjorie spends most of her time working at Disney, hanging with friends, and going to archery. In the future, Marjorie would like to compete at the 2028 Olympic Games.