Adjustments to room & board credits and work-study financial support


In response to student questions posed after our last announcement on April 3, the College conducted a secondary review and determined incremental adjustments were in order for room and board credits to student accounts and financial support for students who receive Federal Work Study and Oxy Work Award.

The adjustments were based on the following considerations:

Room and Board Credits

As a result of our review, we updated our methodology to more fully take into account varying need levels as a percent of total cost of attendance. For example, students whose institutional grant covered 25% of the cost were treated the same as students whose institutional grant covered 90% of the cost. Under this formula, students whose families are paying more out of pocket received less of a credit than might seem reasonable. After the recalculation, 95% of financial aid recipients will now receive an adjustment to their room and board credit. Any student receiving a room and board credit adjustment will see that credit appear in their student account by April 27. This additional credit will not adjust your financial aid offer. We will record it directly to your student account.

Below is a table with some illustrative examples to provide a generalized sense of the range of adjustments made. Please note, the dollar values below are just examples. Actual amounts may vary based on individuals’ financial aid, room type and meal plan balance. A quick glance at column D shows that the new calculations are more appropriately correlated with percent of costs met by Oxy institutional grants.

      (A) Initial calculations on 4/3 were based solely on the reduction of each student’s cost of attendance and did not take into account the percentage of costs met by Oxy grants.  Therefore there was no correlation between that percentage and the calculated credit.

      (B) Any initial calculation below $750 was adjusted to provide a minimum floor of $750. Again, there was no correlation between who received this bump and the level of Oxy grants. Rather it was largely a function of meal plan balance and room type.

      (C) Note minimal variation in credit due to the $750 floor and the methodology. FYI: Some received more than this as a result of their choice of a more expensive meal plan or room type. 

      (D) Note the new calculation correlates more closely with the percentage of costs met by Oxy grants. Families with a lower percentage of grants (meaning higher out-of-pocket expenditures) receive a higher credit.

      (E) The actual amount that will show up in your student account is the difference between the new calculation and the amount you received on 4/3. A small number of students will receive no incremental credit if their new calculation was at or below $750. We maintained $750 as a floor.

If you have a question about room and board credits, please contact Yady Barajas at stuaccts@oxy.edu.

 

Federal Work Study and Oxy Need-Based Work Award Support

For the purposes of this adjustment, students who receive Federal Work Study (FWS) and need-based Oxy Work Award (OWA)--whether or not they were able to continue to work after students were required to leave campus--fall into two categories: those who had already earned more than $600 in spring semester earnings by March 21 (the end of spring semester pay period 7), and those who had earned less than $600 in spring semester earnings by that date. Our calculations are based on the expected earnings of each student, assuming that anyone who earned less than $600 by March 21 would not be on track to earn the maximum allowable amount for the semester.

Previous communications from the College led some work-study and work award students to count on maximum earnings of $3,750, rather than the $3,100 the College had referenced in its original April 3 message. Recognizing this fact, the maximum financial support for work-study and work award students has been increased from $775 (25% of $3,100) to $937.50 (25% of $3,750).

There is a group of 38 students (not included in the table below) who did not work any hours during pay period 6 (February 23-March 7). Under the previous communication, students had to have worked during this period to qualify for a financial support payment. However, we have now decided that if current College records show a student worked at any time during the first six spring semester pay periods, the student will receive a support payment. The amount for this payment will be determined on an individual basis.

Below is a table summarizing the new direction:

Notes
  • TABLE IS FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSES ONLY

  • “Maximum earnable amount” does not equate to actual payout. The amount is contingent on a student having enough room in their annual cap to not go over.

  • None of the information above applies to the 38 students who did not work at all from February 23 - May 7. As stated above, those payments will be determined on an individual basis.

If you have a question about financial support for work-study students, please contact Randy Glazer, associate vice president and chief HR officer, at rglazer@oxy.edu.