Summer jobs could cut students’ financial aid

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – The amount of money college students make over the summer could affect their financial aid. 22News investigates how a summer job could cut into how much money you get for school.

Some college students seek a summer job to make ends meet, but it may not pay off in the long run if you have financial aid. Many students have no idea their own incomes can affect their financial aid as much as their parents’ can.

It all comes down to the income protection allowance. The income protection allowance is the amount of money a student can make over a calendar year before it affects their financial aid. For the 2015-2016 academic year, the income protection allowance for dependent undergrad students is $6,400.

If you make more than that, half of what you earn is subtracted from your financial aid package.

“I would easily spend $1,000 or more on books. That summer money is definitely going toward other things and we need it for that,” said UMass student Brittany Deronde.

How this affects students depends on individual circumstances and their financial aid package. The income protection allowance does not apply to students who get scholarships.

One UMass student told 22News that the income protection allowance could take away future opportunities.

Natalia Morales said, “It most definitely discourages me. So if they put a limit on how much I can make, then it does discourage me from getting higher level jobs.”

Experts say students shouldn’t turn down summer jobs out of fear for what it’ll do to your financial aid.

Students could end up with less once taxes are taken out, or their individual financial plan might be more lenient.

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