Federal Work Study
For students looking to work in college, the Federal Work-Study Program is a good option. Your eligibility for Federal Work-Study is determined by the results of your Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. You will only be matched with a job if you have high enough financial need. About 3,400 schools nationwide offer the program and the schools’ administrators determine how work-study funds are distributed. Browse through our site to see more tips on funding your education through work-study and outside of work-study.
What is Federal Work-Study
The Federal Work-Study Program provides jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn extra money to help pay for college expenses. Work-study jobs are often connected to a student’s interests or major, and if you work on-campus, the job will be connected to your college. Off-campus employers are usually private nonprofit organizations or a public agencies. It is up to schools to request funding from the federal government and distribute that funding to in the work-study program.
How much will I make?
You’ll earn at least the current federal minimum wage. Wages depend on the type of work and the skills required. Your total Federal Work-Study award depends on when you apply, your level of need, and the funding level of your school. Commissions or fees are not paid to Federal Work-Study students.
How will I be paid?
If you’re an undergraduate, you are paid by the hour. If you’re a graduate student, you might be paid by the hour or you might receive a salary. Your school must pay you at least once a month. Also, your school must pay you directly, unless you requested otherwise. For example, you can request to make payments to your bank account or use the money to pay for your institutional charges such as tuition, fees, and room and board.
Are Federal Work-Study jobs on-campus or off-campus?
Both. If you work on campus, you work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency. Some schools have agreements with private for-profit employers for work-study jobs if they are relevant to your course of study. If you attend a proprietary school, look out for more restrictions on work-study jobs.
Can I work as many hours as I want?
No. The amount you earn cannot exceed your total Federal Work-Study award. When assigning work hours, your employer or financial aid administrator considers your class schedule and academic progress. Most schools limit the number of hours you can work in their work-study program.
Last Edited: November 2015
- FAFSA and Other Daunting Financial Aid Acronyms
- FAFSA on the Web
- FAFSA on the Web Provides Speedy Financial Aid Processing
- Federal Grant Programs: Pell and FSEOG
- Federal Pell Grants
- Federal Perkins Loans
- Federal Student Financial Aid for College
- Federal Work Study
- FSEOG: Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants
- The FAFSA: New Year Means New Application
Latest College & Financial Aid News
January 17, 2017
by Susan Dutca
Prospective Rhode Island college students may score two years of free college with Governor Gina M. Raimondo's $30 million plan, Rhode Island's Promise. Beginning with the class of 2017, the plan would foot full tuition bills and mandatory fees, according to Inside Higher Ed.
In an effort to "knock down the financial barriers to obtaining a college degree," Gov. Raimondo's proposed [...]
January 10, 2017
by Susan Dutca
College is supposed to be the best four years of your life. Or as one sociology professor claims: "a big four-year orgy." Was college always this fun? History may indicate otherwise, and Lisa Wade highlights a "demographic shift" 300 years ago that changed the college campus landscape and made colleges bastions of sex, booze, and entitlement.
U.S. colleges during the colonial era [...]
January 5, 2017
by Susan Dutca
While you can always increase your chances at landing a scholarship - increasing your community service and extracurricular involvement, having good grades and writing strong essays - winning one isn't always guaranteed...or can it be? According to TIME Money, one way to secure a scholarship is to apply to, and attend a college that guarantees its incoming class free college money. Here [...]