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January 24, 2002

CSUS among national leaders in using
work-study for community service

California State University, Sacramento ranks fifth among the nation's universities in using federal work-study funds to promote community service, according to the latest issue of the Washington Monthly.

The magazine says CSUS uses 44.5 percent of its roughly $2.2 million in work-study funds to help pay students for community service jobs. Nationally, the average four-year university dedicates less than 12 percent to community service.

"This has been something that has really grown on this campus," says Patty Schindler, who coordinates work-study jobs in the CSUS financial aid office. "Many students who were placed in these jobs end up changing their majors entirely and going to work for non-profits. They've become our contacts when we're trying to place current students."

Work-study is a federal, need-based financial aid program which helps students through part-time employment, paying 70 to 100 percent of their salaries. It was established in the 1960s with the goal of helping students while promoting community involvement, and now has a budget of more than $1 billion.

The more than 3,000 participating universities are required to dedicate at least 7 percent of their work-study funds to community service work. There have been various proposals to raise that requirement.

The Washington Monthly looked at universities that receive at least $250,000 in federal aid. In the article, titled "The Other College Rankings," CSUS was ranked fifth nationally, fourth among public universities and second among California universities (UC Riverside was second nationally) for percentage of work-study funds used for community service.

About 900 CSUS students receive work-study aid each year. Those in community service-related jobs work for such organizations as America Reads, St. Hope Academy, Sacramento Food Bank, Legal Services of Northern California, Wind Youth Center, Mercy Housing Corporation, Sacramento Area Emergency Housing and the Effie Yeaw Nature Center.

In fact, CSUS students have generally shown a strong inclination to serve their community. In addition to those with work-study jobs in community service, fully 40 percent of CSUS students perform community service as volunteers. More than 1,000 students take classes with a service-learning component. And throughout the CSU system, students contribute about 33.6 million hours of community service every year.

The Washington Monthly article and rankings are available at www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0201.green.

More information and media assistance are available by contacting CSUS public affairs at (916) 278-6156.


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