New program gives labor grants to selected freshmen

Sara Bertsch Reporter

Incoming college freshmen are being offered a chance at a job from the very beginning of their college career. 

SDSU began a new program this year, called the Jackrabbit Challenge, giving handpicked incoming freshmen a labor grant worth $1,000 for one semester. The Office of Student Engagement teamed up with the Office of Admissions to choose students to take part in the challenge. 

The way the program works is that the freshmen that are chosen are given the labor grant along with a part-time job. The jobs that were given are at various locations located only on campus including the Department of University Housing and Residential Life, the Wellness Center, The Union and Briggs Library. 

“There is no other public program out there that it is modeled after; it is home grown,” said Nick Wendell, Director of Student Engagement.  

Around 50 students are currently enrolled in the program. They all work between 10 to 15 hours per week and are not to exceed that total. They work throughout the entire semester, each student earning different wages, until they fulfill the commitment of $1,000. Once they reach this, they can either quit or they can continue to work and earn more money. There are no applications for this scholarship; it is only available to students who are chosen. 

“Bright, first year students,” were the candidates that were chosen for the program according to Wendell. There was no minimum GPA required, but it was considered, as well as looking at students who could use the grant and showed promise.

“I think the Jackrabbit Challenge is really great to get freshmen students in a working setting. It teaches you responsibility with time management and working,” said freshman Wellness Center employee Dana Kirby. “It’s also a great way for freshman to get to know people.”

Administrators hope that this program gives the students a job they can have throughout their entire college career at SDSU.