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MANY RADCLIFFE students trying to help pay their way through college by working at term-time jobs returned to school this month to find that the funds received by Radcliffe under the federal College Work-Study Program have been seriously depleted, forcing the Student Employment Office (SEO) to limit Work-Study eligibility to those Radcliffe students whose parents cannot contribute any money to the cost of a college education. An overconcentration of Work-Study funds in summertime jobs held by Radcliffe students exhausted 50 per cent of Radcliffe's federal monies for the 1977-78 academic year. Moreover, Radcliffe's insistence on applying for Work-Study funding apart from Harvard largely accounts for the disturbing fact that Harvard's Work-Study grant--$610,000 for this year--is over four times larger than Radcliffe's $145,000 grant, even though the undergraduate male: female ratio is considerably smaller.
This discrepancy has enabled the SEO to hire 375 Harvard students during the first week of the term at a parental contribution maximum level of $650 per year, compared to 85 Radcliffe students in the same period. Radcliffe students have clear cause to believe they are being discriminated against.
The Radcliffe administration must overcome its institutional chauvinism on this issue and apply jointly with Harvard next year. Radcliffe should also appeal to the federal government to grant it special permission to merge Radcliffe and Harvard Work-Study funds for the current year if the University is to avoid charges of using double standards for qualifying undergraduates for the Work-Study program. If Radcliffe students' traditionally higher family income level ever is to reach parity with that of Harvard students, equal access to the Work-Study program for all undergraduates must be ensured.
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