What Are Work-Study Programs?

AKA, getting the federal government to work for you. Through the federal work-study program, campus and nonprofit jobs are subsidized just for students.

Ah, work-study—getting the federal government to work for you while you work for it. Through the federal work-study program, campus and nonprofit jobs are subsidized just for students.

This lets you work to help you finance your college education. Generally, work-study jobs are awarded to students who the colleges say are financially needy, and you have to fill out your FAFSA to be eligible.

The jobs don’t pay very well and you could probably find higher paying jobs off campus, but the Federal Work-Study Program does have some advantages. Their earnings don’t reduce the student’s future financial aid awards. Their schedules coincide with the school’s. They are typically on campus, which reduces any commute hassle. And they are typically limited to fewer than 15 hours a week, so you still have time to study (and hang out!). In fact studies show that students who work between five and 15 hours a week actually get better grades than those who don’t work at all or work more hours.

Approximately 3,400 participating postsecondary institutions offer federal work-study programs. The government basically gives the colleges the funds and the schools decide the amount of FWS awards to provide to students who are enrolled or accepted for enrollment.

Institutions must use at least 7% of their work-study allocation to support students working in community service jobs, including reading tutors for preschool age or elementary school children; mathematics tutors for students enrolled in elementary school through ninth grade; or literacy tutors in a family literacy project performing family literacy activities.

You can also work for the institution itself; a federal, state, or local public agency; a private nonprofit organization; or a private for-profit organization.

Who says the government doesn’t pay?

Article courtesy of CampusCompare.com.

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