Federal Work Study Program

The Federal Work Study Program gives those of you with financial need the opportunity to earn money for your college expenses from part-time employment that is either on- or off-campus.

Established by the Congressional Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, the program encourages students to find employment in their field of study, if at all possible.

The program is federally-subsidized, which means that the cost of your salary is shared by the federal government and your employer. Currently, salaries for on-campus jobs are paid 70% by the federal government and 30% by your employer. Off-campus jobs are paid 75% by the government.

How do I qualify for Work-Study employment?

By completing a FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid), you can become eligible for work-study employment. Your school will notify you of your eligibility – including a maximum semester salary cap – in your financial aid award letter.

To qualify, you must be enrolled in school at least half-time. To remain in good standing with your school’s work-study program, you may be required to maintain a minimum GPA. You will also need to file a year-end W2 to report your work-study earnings.

What types of jobs are available through the Work Study Program?

The availability of employment opportunities varies widely, depending on your school and the larger community. If you work on-campus, you’ll probably work for one of the academic or administrative offices. Off-campus employers usually include private nonprofit organizations and public agencies, where your work serves the public interest. You might also be able to find opportunities with private, for-profit employers, where your job is related to your field of study.

How do I find a Work Study job?

Your college’s office of student financial aid will promote both on- and off-campus job openings. They will likely have several binders or a searchable database with listings according to skills, experience, rate of pay and available hours.

How many hours is a Work Study job?

One of the goals of the Work Study program is to offer well-paid, career-developing employment opportunities that enhance – rather than detract from – your student experience. Since your job should be secondary to your studies, Work Study employment may not exceed a maximum of 15 hours per week.

Employers are expected to be sensitive to your needs as a college student, including granting requests for time off around final exams. Student employees, on the other hand, are expected to be diligent about their work and take their job seriously.

How much can I earn from a Work Study job?

Well, you might earn less than those working Modeling! All kidding aside, work study employment must pay at least federal minimum wage, and many jobs pay well above that threshold depending on your skills and experience.

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