What you need to know about work-study

Something that most students begin to think about while settling in to the new semester is a job. Is it even possible to go to class, do homework, be involved on campus and work all at the same time? The answer is yes, if you get the job that is right for you and works with your busy schedule.

What is work study?

Work-study is a federal employment program awarded to students on the basis of financial need. It is easy to apply by submitting a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form to the Federal Government.

As long as you qualify, a letter will be sent to you indicating the amount of work-study you are able to do. Each student that qualifies for financial needs is able to have work-study.

If you do not submit a FAFSA form, you will not be recognized for a work-study job.

What’s so good about it?

The best part about work-study is that it is a part-time job. So you have time for class, homework and extracurricular activities. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.

Work-study jobs vary throughout different schools. Some examples are clerical jobs in the different offices on campus, lab jobs, desk jobs in the student center, and community service jobs like tutoring.

Depending on the school, a student is placed where they are needed, unless they would like to work somewhere that is related to their field. That can always be arranged.

Why not just get a part-time job?

You may wonder which is better: work study or a job outside of campus? Depending upon your financial aid and status, some students may choose work-study because it does not impact a student’s financial aid eligibility.

The government does not count a work-study job as income. What does count as income is money that is earned from other work.

The amount a student can earn depends on a number of things including how much aid is allocated to work-study, your class schedule, and how well you are doing academically.

A student should be realistic when working out their schedule. Allow yourself time to study and enjoy recreational and leisure activities.

How are students paid and how much?

Undergraduate students on work-study are paid by the hour and must be paid at least once a month.

A check is sent directly to the student to pay for your tuition, room, meals, or other college fees.

Although it may be difficult to see how working part-time during college is considered “financial aid”, keep in mind that the money you earn is to help pay for your education.

Work-study has flexible hours, choice and availability of jobs and is most of the time, a lot easier to get than finding work on your own off campus.

Featured Image: Depositphotos

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