How To Get A Work Study

Three students are discussing while holding their tabs on a green field - with cows in the background.

Flickr user CAFNR

Funding your lifestyle remains one of the largest concerns for students entering college. Students turn to many forms of financial assistance. Of the many forms of federal financial aid, work study is often overlooked by students. Often, students will think the program doesn’t apply to them and not look further into it. However, just like any other type of financial aid, getting work study starts with filling out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA.

What is Work Study?

Work study is a way that college students can possess a part-time job while in school. The money made by students during this time is intended to assist in funding the student’s college education. The Federal Work-Study Program is usually available to part-time and full-time students at a large number of universities. One benefit of choosing work study programs are that students don’t have to pay any money back to a sponsor. However, the amount received is usually smaller than other financial assistance programs. That being said, students still get the valuable opportunity to experience the lifestyle of a working adult firsthand. 

Qualifying for Work Study

Once you submit the FAFSA, the college will put together a customized financial aid package based on the information you’ve submitted. If you’ve stated your interest in the work study program, the college may award you work study as part of your financial aid package if you qualify. To qualify for work study, you must be able to demonstrate financial need.

If you are interested in the work study program, it is advisable to file the FAFSA earlier rather than later. Many colleges award financial aid, including work study, on a first come first come basis and because work study is very popular with students, places fill up fast. If you apply later in the cycle, you may lose out on the opportunity to earn some money while you study.

Types of Work Study

The types of jobs you can expect to get through work study could range from assisting in the library or laboratory to serving food in the campus cafeteria. Whatever the job, students will gain plenty of experience. 

One thing you should know is that all schools do not participate in the work study program. You will only get this benefit if you are applying to a participating school. Never fear, there are always alternative financial opportunities. 

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