Elon's new work study program, Providing Aid Through Campus Employment, has had a successful first semester and will be growing in size next year, according to Rene Jackson, the coordinator of the PACE program. The program was designed to help students who don't qualify for financial aid but for whom a guaranteed on-campus job would assist in paying off their tuition bill.

Currently, there are 17 student participants in the program, all of who are freshmen. This fall, 50 incoming students will be accepted into the program because of the positive response the program has received.

"We've had great experiences," Jackson said. "I know pretty much all of the people who are supervising the positions, and I always ask and I get positive feedback. These are great students. They have great attitudes, they are serious about what they are doing and they are all good workers."

The jobs that the students are placed in were created specifically for the PACE program. Jackson began coordinating with employers last June to set up positions for the current PACE students, and had most of the jobs lined up by early August, she said. She created a job registry that only PACE students were given access to and were able to look at before they reported to school in the fall. Each student then applied and interviewed for the jobs he or she were most interested in.

"It worked out beautifully," Jackson said. "Most of the students are either in their first or second choice of jobs."

Not only is the program a great opportunity for students, it is also a way for on campus faculty to employ a student worker, Jackson said. Any faculty member can create a position and submit it to the program, and if it is approved, the program will pay for the student's salary.

"It's a great opportunity for faculty in departments who don't have the funds but need the help," Jackson said. "We try to put them in places where it would benefit not just the student, but the faculty or the staff or the department who might not have the funds otherwise."

The current PACE participants are employed as faculty assistants or in various departments on campus, including the Kernodle Center, Student Life, Athletics, Belk Library and University Advancement.

Samantha Murray, a PACE student working in the Kernodle Center, said she appreciates the diversity of the types of jobs that she and her fellow participants were offered.

"I think it's really interesting, because we all have different jobs, but we all have something in common," she said. "For the most part, it sounds like everybody found a job that fits their interest or something they enjoy doing. We're such a wide group of people and we have a wide variety of jobs, but they fit each person."

Murray receives her payment through a tuition credit and is responsible for working $3,000 worth of hours by the end of the year. Nine of the students chose this option of payment, while the other eight chose to get paid outright in bi-monthly paychecks. The PACE students get paid the same on-campus wage of $9 per hour that all student workers receive.

Murray said she is excited that the program is expanding, and she thinks it will be beneficial to have a larger group of people so that the program can touch the areas of campus that have not been covered yet. She is planning on holding her position in the Kernodle Center for the entirety of her time at Elon.

"My job is going really well," she said. "It's given me an opportunity to meet a wide variety of people, and in a way it's helped me get used to being at Elon because I have upperclassmen that I can talk to about everything. It's a job I enjoy going to, and it's definitely introduced me to different aspects of campus but has given me a way to support my tuition as well"