What is the Federal Work-Study Program?

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How does the Federal Work-Study Program Work?

With COVID-19 hitting every sector of the economy, it’s getting harder for college students to live a comfortable life while in college. As a student, your finances are an essential part of your life that needs significant attention. You need money for your tuition fees, study materials, rent, and living expenses. 

While some students have parents that can easily afford all these, most students aren’t that lucky. First-generation college students are among those who are most likely to pay for college out-of-pocket. But there are many funding opportunities available to US students. One of them is The Federal Work-Study Program. It’s a way for students to earn money to pay for school through part-time on-campus (and sometimes off-campus) jobs.

What Exactly is the Federal Work-Study Program?

The Federal Work-Study Program is a program that is designed to assist undergraduates, graduates, and research students in funding by providing them with part-time employment while they study. The student requests it, while the government awards it, and the school implements it.

How Does it Work?

If you want this funding, you need to apply for The Federal Work-Study Program through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). If it’s approved, you will receive a letter that indicates the total amount that you can earn through The Federal Work-Study Program. The next step is to apply to your school for a job. Each school has its specific guideline for applications.

There are different types of jobs available. You may have to work on the campus or outside the school. Depending on your school and the jobs available, you may work in an office, in a company or community service. Schools are encouraged to include a significant amount of community jobs in the list of jobs available. This is to help give back to the community.

How You Will You Be Paid?

Work-study payment is usually on an hourly basis. But some are computed every month. The minimum amount of money you can earn in an hour is the federal minimum wage. You can even make more. Many students receive their payment weekly, but some may be monthly. Also, note that earning through the Federal Work-Study Program is taxable. But it does not affect your chances of getting financial aid in the future.

Why You Should Do the Federal Work-Study Program

The primary aim of the Federal Work-Study Program is to earn some extra cash to help with college life. But this Program comes with more advantages apart from providing funds. It helps you to get some work experience and prepares you for life after school.

  • In most cases, you will need to apply for this job and attend an interview. This enables you to have the experience of the challenges in the competitive job market. 
  • The Program also exposes you to the situation in the workplace.
  • It helps you to discover your talents, ability, and passion. 
  • The Federal Work-Study Program also helps you to build your resume and gives you an advantage when you leave school to get employment.
  • This Program is flexible, and your employer understands that you are a student. Therefore your working hours can be arranged in such a way not to affect your studies. It merely means that you have some control over your paid employment.

And all these come without significantly affecting your studies. Although your earning is taxable, it does not jeopardize your chances of getting future financial aids.

How To Qualify For The Federal Work-Study Program

To qualify, you must demonstrate that you need financial support. This depends on your financial needs and the income of your parents or guardians. An eligible applicant must be an undergraduate, a graduate student, or a research student of an institution in the United States. The applicant must also be a citizen, national, or permanent resident of the United States. Otherwise, the applicant must be among those that have an exemption from the condition above.

You must also note that not all schools participate in this Program. You are, therefore, only eligible for it if your school participates.

Even if your school participates in it, the number of students that will have a chance in the Program depends on the total amount allocated to your school.

How To Apply For Federal Work-Study

The Federal Work-Study Program is not automatic employment. You still need to apply for it. You may also have to attend an interview before getting the job.

There is a maximum number of hours that you can work, and there are conditions that you should meet before you can participate in this Program. Students who are finding it difficult to achieve the minimum grades in their academics may not be allowed to add the burden of work to the academic load. 

The Work-Study Program is part of FAFSA. Therefore, you must obtain the FAFSA form. When you fill the form, you must check the section that indicates that you are interested in The Federal Work-Study Program.

Although the application is part of FAFSA, the deadline is usually earlier than that of FAFSA. It is, therefore, advisable to apply as early as possible.

Find Work-Study Opportunities With A UStrive Mentor

As easy as the Work-Study Program appears, you may get confused and might not be sure of the best way to go about it. You may be confused or worried about the kind of job to apply for or the best time to apply. Another issue of concern is how to cope with work and studies. But with professional college mentors, all these problems can be solved conveniently.

UStrive is an online platform that connects students with professional mentors. Even better, UStrive is 100% free for students! UStrive has a large number of expert college mentors that understand students’ needs and can provide the guidance they need. UStrive focused on matching students with a mentor that is best for the student’s particular needs.

Final Words

Applying for the work-study Program should not be difficult if you know what you are doing. It is not a complicated process; millions of students apply for it every week. It’s best if you did your research before filling up the form. However, if you feel lost, getting the right guidance from someone reliable, say a mentor from is the best choice that you can make. 

UStrive mentors can assist you in every aspect of your application. They can advise you on how to apply and when to apply. To learn more about UStrive, click the banner below to sign up and find your free college mentor today.

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