A federal or state-funded program that provides part-time jobs to college or university students who have financial constraints is called Work Study. Full-time or even part-time students studying in undergrad, graduate or professional schools can apply for this program.
Every year more than $150 billion is awarded to eligible students by the United States Department of Education as loans, federal grants and work-study funds to students who need financial aid. It is different from scholarships and loans as work-study grants have to be got through part-time work. To apply and to become eligible, your college has to apply for work-study funds and the US education department will then do due diligence and grant it to the college which will be used to pay work-study jobs.
Jobs offered by Work-Study program
The jobs that they offer can be on the campus or off it. The on-campus jobs can be working in the dining area, hostels, or library. These jobs suit the full-time students as they get to work on the campus, study or complete their homework while on the job and save travel time. The off-campus jobs will be in a public or a non-profit organization, it can be jobs like working in public schools, hospitals, government offices, public library or such public interest jobs. Some schools also have tie-ups with private companies where you can work in the job related to your study.
It is essential to remember that you are not guaranteed a job in a work-study program, you will have to find a job yourself only in rare cases, the college will help you find one.
Advantages of a Work-Study Job
You can keep the earnings: The major advantage of a work-study job is that you get to keep what you earn. Of course, you will have to pay your student loans, etc but how you spend the money you earned is up to you.
You are still eligible for financial aid: Another major advantage of the work-study program is that the financial aid eligibility is not affected because you earn extra income. This income is not counted while determining your grant. The other essential thing to note is that like financial aid, it is only for the current year and to continue receiving it, you will have to apply again every year you are in college.
More convenient: Scheduling work is easy and based on the class timings you can decide on how long to work. The same cannot be said about non-work-study jobs as the schedule can be erratic. If you find a job on-campus, you can also save travel time and not to mention saving extra money.
Provides work experience: If you can get a job in your field of study it can be a great work experience which can help you in your career. It can also help you make career choices.
Work-study is beneficial to students in many ways It not only helps them fund their education; it also helps them get work experience that will brighten the job prospects.