If you are seeking the ways to pay for the college, Work-Study may be the right choice for you. Federal Work-Study is an opportunity for students to earn money so that they could pay for college by taking up on-campus or off-campus jobs. It enables students to get the necessary work experience while completing a college degree.
The Work-Study program is not available in every institute. The schools that offer this program have a limited amount of funds for the eligible students. Therefore, you should complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) as soon as possible. Several schools provide work-study funds based on the received applications’ order.
The program does not cover all your college expenses. It would help if you had some personal savings, scholarship amounts, student loans and grants. However, it’s a better option for students who qualify for this.
Generally, students need to secure their work-study employment. Your qualification for the work-study program does not mean you have a confirmed job.
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Not Every Work-Study Job is on-Campus
Work-study opportunities might include community services and jobs with non-profit organizations. This indicates that a few work-study related posts are outside the campus.
For example, you may get the job of the tutor for elementary school children at public schools. If you want to secure a community service work-study job, contact student employment officer or financial centre at your college.
Work-Study Funds Do Not Directly Count to Your Tuition
The work-study program is not like typical financial aid, and that is why it is not directly applicable to your tuition and fee. Students who secure work-study, receive funds according to the hours they work like any other job.
The purpose of this income is to provide students with financial aid for day-to-day expenses. So, work-study does not cover large costs such as housing or tuition.
Work-Study Opportunities May Be Limited
Even if your school does not have sufficient work-study funds to accommodate every on-campus student employee, you might still be able to do an on-campus job without work-study. Several campuses give jobs to students with or without work-study. For information, contact the employment office to check what do they offer.
Federal Work-Study Does Not Guarantee Job from Year to Year
When it comes to receiving work-study from year to year, several factors may come into play. For instance, your family income or financial need, whether you utilized the funds in a prior year. It may be checked that how much funds your school received that year.
Be in contact with your school administration for the specific criteria if you want to secure work-study. Normally, the student who complete and submit the FAFSA before the start of an academic year, they have higher chances to qualify for the program. The important thing is how well you answer on the FAFSA.
Pay May Differ
Not all work-study jobs have the same job descriptions. Therefore, qualification and nature of responsibilities vary depending upon the requirements. Subsequently, pay structure also depends upon your school policies and the minimum wage policy of the state.
Work-Study Earnings Do Not Count to Your FAFSA Calculation for the Next Year
One of the advantages of earning money via the federal work-study program is that the program does not consider these earnings against you when you complete the FAFSA for the next year. Make sure you correctly answer the question on FAFSA that how much you earned.
If you have any confusion, check with your school office for assistance. In some schools, students receive notice in the spring about their income from the previous calendar year to help them submit their FAFSA.
Read More: How To Make Money in College?
Working Hours May Vary
The working hours depend upon the nature of the job you get and your employer’s policies. In most of the cases, the number of working hours are 10/12 hours per week considering the schedule of your classes. However, they may vary.
What are Suitable Work-Study Jobs?
Once you have succeeded in getting the work-study facility, you need to secure a job that is following the program.
Several on-campus work-study employment includes job such as research assistants, assistant-administrator and work related to the library. On the other hand, work-study also includes working for a private organization or non-profit companies. Community services, tutoring, child-care and healthcare jobs are also the part of work-study.
Several schools have developed online portals that display work-study jobs. In this way, they encourage students to apply for jobs that relate to their academic field. Students get flexible working hours through work-study. So, they can easily manage their school and work.
Generally, you may earn according to the specification of your financial aid award via work-study. Nevertheless, exceptions are there.
For instance, if your award specified $4,000 for work-study, you would work the number of hours that take to earn this amount. If you have completed the working hours according to the required amount with two weeks remaining in your semester, then some employers may let you continue working for the rest of the semester. However, it depends upon the employer.
The work-study job gives you a guarantee to earn at least the federal minimum wage. In case, the state minimum wage is more than that of the federal, and you would earn the state minimum wage.
What is the Work-Study Payment Mode?
You may get paid by check or deposit. Alternatively, you may have the money credited to your school-account to adjust tuition, the fee for room or board. There is no restriction that you spend the money for any specific purpose. Several students use work-study paycheck to pay for the daily expenses.
If you want to pay for your college through your earnings, avail the option of the work-study program. You need to file FAFSA on an urgent basis because the chances for you to be awarded work-study depends on the first-come and first-served basis. With work-study, you will be able to work on-campus or off-campus. You may get flexible working hours so that you could manage your job and studies.