March 24-25, 1999

ITEM 40-002-R0783  -- Montana Work Study Program; Montana University System (REVISION of Board of Regents' Policy 504.2)

(Revision to Section V.)

V. Administration - Each institution will be responsible for the administration of the Montana Work-Study Program in its own school. There must be no discrimination against any individual participant because of race, creed, color, sex, national origin, age or non-job related physical handicap. The financial aid administrator in the college or university who is responsible for administration of other forms of financial aid, will be designated as the institution’s representative with responsibility for the general conduct of the programs.

In addition, the financial aid administrator or the president’s designee shall have the following responsibilities:

A. Determine which students are eligible to participate in this program. The financial aid director may classify as full-time, any student who is enrolled for remedial instruction when such enrollment, in addition to other courses being taken, represents the equivalent of full-time enrollment.

B. Determine which institutional jobs are to be assigned to students.

C. Authority to transfer not more than 25% of the current year’s work study allocation to other state financial aid allocations, as needed, if it is determined by March 1 of the current academic year that the current year’s work study awards will not be earned by eligible students. Any non-allocated work study funds in excess of the 25% unused amount must beReturn non-allocated funds returned to the Commissioner of Higher Education by April 15th, who may allocate them to another eligible institution. if such transfer is mutually agreeable.

D. File a special report with the Commissioner of Higher Education by March 15 of each academic year detailing any funds transferred to other state financial aid programs as authorized in Section V.C.

E.D. File annual reports with the chief administrative officer of the institution and the Commissioner of Higher Education.

F.E. Determine if a student should continue participation in the program if the student’s work proves to be unsatisfactory.

History: Item 40-002-R0783, Montana Work Study Program, July 29, 1983

Background Information for
Suggested Revision to Board of Regents' Policy 504.2

(Board ITEM 40-002-R0783)

Work study and grant funds are allocated to educational institutions based on full time resident headcount. This is to ensure students have equal access for state funds. However, each community is different in its work force, student population, and students’ academic load. For instance, Billings has a high population of non-traditional students. In addition, there are numerous jobs off campus where students can earn higher wages than through work study. Butte students tend to carry a heavier academic load and have more classes with lab requirements so fewer of their students accept work study jobs. Each year these two campuses return work study funds and request additional grant money.

On the federal level educational institutions are given flexibility in how the federal funds are spent. The financial aid office is allowed to transfer up to 25% of federal work study and Perkins loan funds between the federal grant programs. The financial aid officers in Montana are requesting similar flexibility with state funds (see attached letter from MSU Billings). As the University System receives lump sum funding from the legislature and is given the flexibility to transfer funds, within reason, where it is most needed, students’ needs would best be met if the financial aid officers had this same flexibility.

By giving the financial aid officers this flexibility it allows the students to be helped earlier in the process, hopefully preventing students having to withdraw from school for financial reasons. It also aides the educational institution in its planning process.

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