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They'll Work for Education

For 10 hours each week, Anna Rice can be found behind a desk in the hallway of a dorm at Northeastern University in Boston, her books spread in front of her so she can study. Every so often students will approach the desk, and Ms. Rice will ask for ID, and rustle up the vacuum or pool table equipment or DVDs they have come to borrow for the evening. Then she'll go back to her work. For this she receives Ms. Rice's job, through the federal work-study program, is one piece of the financial puzzle that college has become, dependent on the government, the economy and, to some extent, the whims and work ethics of each year's crop of teenagers. Time was when work-study meant taking shifts at the campus commons, wearing a paper hat and serving mystery meat and creamed spinach as your classmates shuffled through. But with dining services mostly outsourced, and everything about college life more complex, work-study jobs have come to fill a variety of needs' beyond the obvious one of putting cash in the pockets of undergraduate and graduate students. Some want to develop a skill, or beef up a r sum. Some seek an 'in with a certain professor. Ms. Rice's goal was to make as small a dent in study time as possible. Read more...

Publish date: May 24, 2009