Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study.
Here’s a quick overview of Federal Work-Study:
- It provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school.
- It’s available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with financial need.
- It’s available to full-time or part-time students.
- It’s administered by schools participating in the Federal Work-Study Program. Check with your school's financial aid office to find out if your school participates.
What kinds of jobs are there?
The Federal Work-Study Program emphasizes employment in civic education and work related to your course of study, whenever possible.
Are jobs on campus or off campus?
Both. If you work on campus, you’ll usually work for your school. If you work off campus, your employer will usually be a private nonprofit organization or a public agency, and the work performed must be in the public interest.
Some schools might have agreements with private for-profit employers for work-study jobs. These jobs must be relevant to your course of study (to the maximum extent possible). If you attend a proprietary school (i.e., a for-profit institution), there may be further restrictions on the types of jobs you can be assigned.
If you’re interested in getting a Federal Work-Study job while you’re enrolled in college or career school, make sure you apply for aid early. Schools that participate in the Federal Work-Study Program award funds on a first come, first served basis.
How much can I earn?
You’ll earn at least the current federal minimum wage. However, you may earn more depending on the type of work you do and the skills required for the position.
Your total work-study award depends on:
- when you apply,
- your level of financial need, and
- your school’s funding level.
How will I be paid?
How you’re paid depends partly on whether you’re an undergraduate or graduate student.
- If you are an undergraduate student, you're paid by the hour.
- If you are a graduate or professional student, you're paid by the hour or by salary, depending on the work you do.
- Your school must pay you at least once a month.
- Your school must pay you directly unless you request that the school
- send your payments directly to your bank account or
- use the money to pay for your education-related institutional charges such as tuition, fees, and room and board.
Can I work as many hours as I want?
No. The amount you earn can’t exceed your total Federal Work-Study award. When assigning work hours, your employer or your school’s financial aid office will consider your class schedule and your academic progress.