What is Work-Study?
Work-study is a federal program which provides students with part-time employment to help them pay for educational expenses. The program is designed to encourage community service and give students valuable work experience while they continue to study. Jobs may be on-campus or off-campus.
Details of the Program
The program is intended to provide part-time employment, but there is no specific limit on the number of hours you can work. Rather, the amount you can work is dictated by the total amount of your Federal Work-Study award. It is important to note that schools participating in this program are provided with a certain amount of Work-Study funds each year; when all funds have been awarded, no additional Work-Study awards can be made for that year. So, make sure you get your FAFSA in early.
In terms of wage, you’ll earn at least the current minimum wage, but in practice most jobs in this program offer a wage much higher than that. The specific hourly wage will vary from job to job and depend on the type of work you do and the skills required.
Federal Work-Study jobs can be on or off campus. If you work on campus, you’ll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a private non-profit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest. Some schools might have agreements with private for-profit employers for Federal Work-Study jobs – these jobs must be relevant to your course of study, to the maximum extent possible.
Like other federal financial aid programs, your eligibility will be determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). For information on submitting the FAFSA for financial aid, please refer to the article entitled, Applying for Financial Aid.