05 Jul What is the Federal Work-Study Program?
One way to help pay for the costs associated with attending college is to have the student work. This could be during the summer vacation or study breaks during the year, or students might find a part-time job off-campus that wraps around their class schedule. Another approach is to find a Federal Work-Study job. This should show up on your financial aid award letter as part of your financial aid package.
Eligibility is determined by information provided on the FAFSA and the specific college where the student will be enrolled. Check with each school’s financial aid office to determine if they participate in this program – about 3400 schools do participate, so the chances are high that yours will be one of them. Here are some things to know about this opportunity to earn money to help pay for college costs:
• Who is eligible? This program is open to undergraduate, graduate and professional students who demonstrate financial need when submitting their FAFSA. Students may be enrolled part-time or full-time.
• What types of jobs are available? These are part-time jobs which should enable the student to continue concentrating on academic work. The program does encourage students to participate in community service work and work related to their course of study. Students might work on campus, or they may be able to work off-campus where the employer is usually some type of private nonprofit organization or a public agency and the work performed is in the public interest. Some schools could have agreements with private for-profit employers for work-study jobs which are relevant to a particular course of study.
• How much money can the student earn? The job must pay at least the prevailing federal minimum wage, but might pay more depending on the work performed. The total amount earned cannot exceed the amount of the award. Students must be paid at least once a month. The money can go directly to them, or the student can request that the funds be used to pay for expenses such as tuition, room and board, or fees.
If you’re a little short of fund for college costs, this could be a way to help pay for it. The Federal Work-Study award is one of the programs where aid is provided on a first-come, first-served basis so it is important to submit your FAFSA as soon as possible. For the 2017-18 academic year, the FAFSA will be online beginning October 1, 2016. Even if you don’t qualify, ask if your school offers other employment opportunities.
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