Pros and Cons of Work Study Programs

While researching financial aid, and ways to pay for college, you might have come across the federal work study programs. They are great opportunities for students to earn experience and get paid for their work, but what about the drawbacks? Is work study right for you?

Pro: Financial aid

Work study programs pay their student workers just like a regular job, with hours and wages. These programs allow some students to avoid taking out hefty student loans by working instead. It’s a great way to supplement scholarships and grant.

Con: Limitations

As this is a part time job while in college, the program limits the number of hours that students can work. Freshmen and sophomores have lower financial awards, though can earn more as they become juniors and seniors. Additionally, work study wages aren’t competitive like they are in the business world, so you’ll likely earn minimum wage.

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Variable rates from 4.98% - 12.79% APR


Pro: Experience in your field

Work study tries to match students with jobs that are related to their field of study. Business students might work in the admin buildings of the college, for examples. English majors might work for the school newspaper. These programs can give students relevant skills, experiences, and even connections to the industries they’re interested in pursuing.

Con: Time

Perhaps one of the biggest cons to consider is the amount of time work study takes up. It is a part time job, after all, and takes up time that could be spent studying, doing homework, or revising big assignments. There’s a lot of balancing to work out, and time is already a precious commodity even without the program.

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