What Is a Work-Study Job? - NewBalancejobs
Career Advice Career Basics

What Is a Work-Study Job?

  The Federal Work-Study Job Program provides part-time jobs to college students who have demonstrated financial need.  Often eligible students apply for jobs that are directly related to their field of study or that benefit the college community in some capacity.

  The Federal Work Study Program, along with loans, grants, and scholarships, is a component of federal financial assistance provided by the U.S. Department of Education.  Work study provides part-time jobs for both undergraduates and graduates with proven need, allowing them to earn money to help pay for education-related expenses.

  Students in study and work positions can generally work flexible hours that do not conflict with their semester schedules.  There are also limits to the number of hours they can work each week so that they have time for study and school activities.

  The types of schools that participate in the Federal Student Aid Program include four-year colleges and universities, two-year colleges (community and junior colleges), and vocational schools (technical and vocational schools).

  Check with the financial aid office to see if your university or career school is participating.  If they do, the federal study program for work will pay some or all of your salary if you are assigned a work and study position.

  Do I have to accept work-study job?

  If work and study are within your financial aid award and you do not intend to use it, you may decline the scholarship.  However, in most cases, getting a work and study job is a good idea, especially if it reduces your student loan borrowing and the amount of student debt you will face after graduation.

ALSO READ:  What is private unemployment insurance?

  Am I eligible to work-study job?

  First, to be eligible to study work, you need to fill out a FAFSA form, or a free application form for Federal Student Aid.  Check the box that indicates that you would like to be considered for work and study.

  Fill out the FAFSA as soon as possible in the application process.  Some types of assistance are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so this will be in your favor.  In general, students who submit the FAFSA early in the previous academic year (in January or February), are more likely to receive work and study assistance.

  Even if you receive work and study assistance early in your school career, you are not guaranteed to receive it throughout your study program.  Instead, there are a number of factors that will determine whether you qualify for work and study assistance on an annual basis.

  These factors include the total study and work funding your school receives in a given year, as well as whether you used your work study funding in the previous year, your financial needs and your family’s income.

  How do I enroll in the federal work-study job program?

  When you complete your free application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA┬«), check the box indicating that you are interested in studying work.  You are not committing to anything at this point, just indicating that you will consider a work study opportunity.

  Your school will notify you of your eligibility in your financial aid grant letter, as it will allocate funds for financial aid to you if you decide to take up a work-study job.  If you get your award letter and decide that you cannot juggle the position on top of the course load, you can decline this part of your package.  However, if you can handle the workload, most students find the experience positive and beneficial.

  Where can I find eligible Work-Study Job?

  After you are offered a job and study opportunity, you must find a qualified job for the program.  There are many wagons on campus and may include research assistants, administrative duties at the campus office, or work in the library.  Other study and work jobs may be off-campus in nonprofits or private companies.  Part of the study and work jobs are community service jobs, including teaching, childcare and healthcare.

  Many schools have online portals with work and study job listings, and students are encouraged to apply for jobs related to their field of study.  Work and study jobs promise flexible hours so you can balance work and school more easily.

  Usually you can’t earn a lot by studying work except as stipulated by the Financial Aid Award, although some employers are excluded.

How much does work-study job pay?

  In a work-and-study job, you can expect to earn at least the current federal minimum wage.  However, you can be paid more than the minimum wage depending on the job you do and the skills required for your position.  Work and study jobs that require a higher level of skill or experience, such as research or laboratory assistance, are likely to pay more than jobs such as hiring the front desk in a dormitory or library, for example.

ALSO READ: Weekend job suggestions to boost your income

  As a college student, you will be paid on an hourly basis for a work and study position.  Work and study graduate students can be paid either by the hour or on a salary basis depending on the nature of your work and study.

  Your income from hourly work and study will also depend on the type of job you are in, the responsibilities, skills, and qualifications required for the position, as well as minimum wage requirements and any work and study policies your school may have.

  Paychecks will be cashed by your school at least once a month, if not more.  Your school must also pay you directly unless you ask them to either use your income earned from work and study to advance directly toward institutional expenses such as housing, food, tuition, and other tuition fees.  Earning a direct salary means that unlike scholarships and some other forms of assistance, you can decide how your work and study income will be spent.  You can also request that your paycheck be sent to your bank account via direct deposit.


  What are the disadvantages of Work-Study Job?

  Work study offers a stable and flexible option to earn money through college.  However, there are some points to consider before going this route.  First, getting a work and study award does not guarantee a job.  Students still need to go through the application and interview process to secure a job.

  There is work and study restrictions on how much students can work, and thus how much they can earn.  While these restrictions can be beneficial to lower-class men, seniors may need to earn beyond what work study permits, in the form of an off-campus job with the company or organization of their choice.