Benefits of a College Work Study Program
If you completed the FAFSA and you’re eligible for financial aid, then you may be eligible to be part of your school’s federal work study program. Not every student receives the same amount of financial aid. It is determined by your level of financial need and how much work study money your college has to distribute. You will earn at least the minimum wage, but you might make more depending on how well you work, your previous work experience and if the school has extra money.
Undergraduate students are paid by the hour, while graduate students are paid either by the hour or by a salary. Most college institutions pay their students once a month, directly with a check. You can request to have your check sent directly to your financial aid office to be put towards your tuition, or you can have it automatically deposited into your student checking account.
Also, you cannot exceed your work hours. That means you cannot earn more money than what your federal work study award was, so your employers have to make sure they schedule you appropriately.
Federal work study programs can be administered both on and off campus. If you work on campus you will be working for the university, usually at a bookstore, the cafeteria or in a residence hall. If you work off campus you are usually employed by a non-profit agency or a public organization working with your school.
Here are a few reasons why work study will benefit you both in college and after college:
- You’ll get money to help fund your college expenses;
- You can work on campus and become familiar with the students and school policies;
- You can work off campus in the surrounding community and help the citizens;
- Your employer will give you flexible work hours to work around your class schedule;
- Working with other students will increase your communication skills;
- Work study income will not affect your future financial aid eligibility;
- Future employees are often impressed by students who have work study experience while in college;
- You will develop your time-management skills;
- Your work study supervisor is an excellent reference to put on your resume;
- Academic research shows that students who work at least 20 hours a week while in college get better grades.