We know that juggling a work-study job, Spectator, and schoolwork can be challenging, and we want our staff to have the opportunity to succeed both in Spectator and in everything else they do. For staff eligible to receive financial aid, Spectator is here to help. Please read the below information to learn about Spectator’s work-study allocation and the timeline for applying and approval. If you have any further questions, please send them to workstudy@columbiaspectator.com.


What is federal work-study?

Federal work-study is an allocation by the federal government of a maximum amount of money you can receive through an on- or off-campus job. When you receive your earnings, 75% of that money comes from the federal government, and the remaining 25% comes from Spectator.


What is casual employment or college work-study?

In some cases, the federal government does not provide students with a work-study allocation, but the college (either Columbia or Barnard) still thinks the student is deserving of work-study as part of their financial aid package. In this case, Spectator pays for 100% of the money that you earn.


How much of my work-study allotment can Spectator cover?

Spectator pays all of its staff at $15/hour, a wage that is on par with Columbia’s, and compensate our staffers for each hour worked.

In an effort to cover as many staffers as possible, Spectator is only able to support a limited amount of paid hours per staffer. We are able to cover your individual semesterly allotment minus $600, and will allocate you paid hours equivalent to that amount.

If you hit your cap of paid hours midway through the semester, you have two options: 1) to step away from Spectator for the semester, having maxed out your work-study allocation, or 2) to transition to an unpaid volunteer position for the remainder of the semester. Unfortunately, we cannot provide any additional funding to unpaid volunteers.

If you wish to take on an additional work-study position during the semester to make the remaining $600 of your allotment, you may apply to another position while remaining a part of staff with the approval of Corporate Board.


How do I get approved to be on Spectator’s work-study program?

New staff members fill out an application form and their approval status is based on a variety of factors, including current position on staff, commitment to Spectator, etc.

Staffers will receive notice from Spectator’s Publisher regarding whether or not they are approved to be on Spectator’s work-study program, as well as the allocation they are entitled to receive from Spectator during the semester.


What is the timeline for applying and knowing if I’m approved?

Immediately after being accepted to Spectator, the Publisher will send out the aforementioned work-study application form, which is to be submitted within five days of receiving it. Final decisions about allocations will be made about one to two weeks after submitting the application.


Should I apply for another work-study position?

Although we aim to provide as much assistance as possible to our staff, Spectator is only able to support a limited amount of paid hours per staffer. As such, we recommend that applicants continue to seek out other work-study opportunities until after they are accepted into Spectator’s work-study program and receive a final confirmation of their allocation. Please visit the respective websites for Columbia and Barnard for more information about work-study and finding a job.