The federal work-study program is a way in which college students can work part- or full-time while simultaneously attending school in order to help pay for college-related expenses. The program, available at the undergraduate, graduate and professional level, may face some changes amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Although only roughly 18% of families utilize this method of college financial aid, it is crucial source of income for families and students who rely on it to pay for education expenses. This is particularly true during a time where many Americans face unemployment, reduced work and wages due to the economic ramifications of COVID-19. If you are part of the federal work-study program, here are things you can consider or do to prepare for the upcoming school year:
- Determine if your work-study program offers the option of remote work or if the in-person job would allow for proper safety measures, such as social distancing.
- Find out if your work-study program will provide grants, larger student loans, or alternate forms of financial aid to replace work-study aid.
- Figure out if there is a certain case-by-case evaluation for work-study fund disbursement. For example, former work-study recipients may be prioritized over new students.
- Ascertain if your specific work-study program is affiliated with other local partners that would expand your job opportunities.
- Appeal directly to your school’s financial aid office if you cannot locate a suitable work-study job.
Despite the uncertainty of earn-while-you-learn federal work-study programs across colleges and universities in the coming semesters, keep in mind that you have many options in paying for college, including scholarships which do not have to be repaid. If your financial or work situations have changed due to COVID-19, supplement your college financial aid package with scholarships, beginning with our free scholarship search.
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