Federal Work-Study Overview
What Is the Federal Work-Study Program?
The Federal Work-Study Program gives undergraduate and graduate students the option
to work part-time while enrolled in college. It's a great way for you to gain experience
in your field of study, meet new people, and help out in the community – all while
you are helping to
pay for your education!
To be eligible, you must demonstrate financial need and attend a college that participates
in the Federal Work-Study Program. Ask financial aid administrators at the colleges
you are considering whether they offer Federal Work-Study.
How Do I Apply for Work-Study?
All you do is select the work-study option on your
federal student aid application (FAFSA).
If you do not indicate your need for work-study on the FAFSA, you may still be eligible
later if a work-study job is open. However, students who select work-study on their
FAFSAs come first, so don't leave this to chance!
If I've Been Accepted for Work-Study, When Do I Start Working?
Being accepted for work-study does not mean you have a job. Being accepted simply
means your college has set aside money for you to earn in a work-study job. Now
you have to apply for the various work-study jobs offered by your college. Work-study
jobs often center on work in the community and relate directly to a field of study.
Here's what to evaluate when considering your work-study job options:
- Look for a job that will either teach you new skills in your field of study or
complement ones you already have.
- Consider your time. College studies will consume most of your free time. Can you
handle your studies and a part-time job? Work-study jobs usually range from 10 to
15 hours a week.
- Consider the location of the job. Your work-study job may or may not be on campus.
Is there public transportation to the job? If not, how else can you travel to and
from work (sometimes in inclement weather)?
At My Work-Study Job, How Much Will I Earn, and When Will I Get Paid?
- You will earn at least the federal minimum wage, which, as of the increase on
July 24, 2009, is $7.25 an hour.
- Your college will pay you at least once a month.
- You may elect to have your wages sent to you or automatically deposited into your
- Your total work-study earnings are limited by the amount you are awarded as financial
aid. Check your aid package letter.
State Work-Study Programs
Federal Work-Study is not the only work- study program available; many states also
offer their own. For a complete list of state aid programs, please