Not sure if you can afford to go to college? While scholarships and grants are a great way to alleviate some of your financial burden, they aren’t always enough. The federal work-study program may help you to fill in the gaps. We’ll tell you what you need to know about this program, and how to jump in or get involved, in this post.
Filling out your FAFSA form helps you and your school to determine what types of financial aid and loans you may qualify for, but it isn’t always enough Your FAFSA will also help you to determine if you qualify for work-study jobs – positions you can use to work for federal funds while still attending school and maintaining a healthy schedule. Here’s your secret guide to a better future through work study.
Reduce Your Financial Burden While Working Your Way Through School with Federal Work-Study Programs.
While scholarships and grants are a great way to pay for school, sometimes it just isn’t enough. Federal work-study programs are another alternative if the school you plan to attend participates. The schools that do participate in work-study programs are given a limited amount of funds each year, so it is still important for you to complete your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) form as early as possible so that you can show your interest and claim funds before they run out.
Work-Study isn’t Meant to Cover Tuition
Work-study funds do not get applied directly to your course tuition. You receive the funds similarly to a paycheck, at regular intervals, as you earn them. They are designed to help you with your costs and living expenses over and above tuition.
Jobs aren’t Guaranteed
Qualifying for a work-study position doesn’t mean you’ll actually find a job. Many schools have work-study jobs available, but others will expect you to go out and find, apply, and interview for positions on your own. Some schools will give work-study students priority in filling on-campus jobs as being able to work those hours is crucial to their overall financial aid package.
Job Choices are Limited
While jobs aren’t guaranteed, the type of job you can work will be limited. Federal work-study jobs may be on or off-campus but are rarely with private, for-profit corporations. The requirements usually involve some sort of civic engagement, which means you will likely work for a nonprofit, community service group, or charity. You may even work for a public government group.
Work-Study Pay Varies
Not two work-study positions pay the same. Federal law requires schools to pay students in the program at least minimum wage. Some schools will tier the pay systems based on the skill level of the positions offered. Your school will set a maximum number of hours per week you can work as part of your work-study program. Undergraduates tend to be paid hourly, while graduate students may sometimes work in salaried positions.
Work-Study Income Doesn’t Impact Other Federal Financial Aid
One of the biggest benefits of the work-study program is that the income earned is exempt from the money used to calculate aid other financial aid. This means you can earn money to help with your expenses without compromising your Pell Grants or other tuition programs.
Federal work-study programs and funds offer students with need a great opportunity to lighten the their financial burdens while obtaining an education. They also don’t require long or unrealistic hours, ensuring students are able to actually focus on their studies.
Work study programs can help you get skilled, but so can online degree programs. They’re also really easy to fit into your schedule. Make sure you fill out your FAFSA as soon as possible each year to find out if you qualify. Apply now and secure your spot in a killer program to ensure your future!