Student Life

Federal Work Study Jobs for College Students

A college student explains the Federal Work Study programs, how students qualify and the positives and negatives of this financial aid option.

Student Contributor, Charles Schnell

January 07, 2021

Federal Work Study Jobs for College Students
Working while in college is a way to partially pay for your education.
Jobs, jobs, jobs! Love them or hate them, they are an essential part of adult life. Pursuing a job in college can be apt preparation for your post-collegiate life. Aside from experience, a job in college provides another, perhaps more vital benefit: money. Specifically, working while in college is a way to partially pay for your education. Our Government and college leaders know this, so they make it easier for you by offering Federal Work Study. Federal Work Study is a federal financial aid program wherein students can work for their college in order to partially pay their tuition and fees.
When applying to colleges, the applicant may request consideration for Federal Work Study programs. An applicant is considered for these federal programs upon completing and filing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is how federal aid is determined by the government to be granted or loaned to each prospective college student. Upon being deemed eligible for Federal Work Study programs, the student can then apply for specific work-study jobs while in college. I have a friend who intends to apply for work study soon. Work study jobs often go fast on campuses. They are competitive. This is why it is a smart idea to apply for work study early in the semester. When hired, students commonly sign on for a semester or two semesters.
I have been researching the availability of work study jobs, and I was surprised to learn of just how many jobs are offered at college campuses. For example, at Emory University one can apply to work in the library, fitness, dining, or residence life departments. As mentioned above there are plenty of benefits to work study jobs. First, having a job during college at all can provide one with valuable work experience before entering the workforce full time. I have had this advice given to me before: Having experience under your belt before graduation can give you an advantage when starting your post-college career and seeking your first full-time occupation.
Second, the income from a job can help students pay for college. Everyone in the country knows how expensive a college education is, and tuition costs rise annually. Students can help themselves pay for costs by participating in work study jobs. As with everything else in life, deciding to partake in work study is not without its costs. For one, it requires time that could be spent studying and doing homework. If a college student already has plenty of free time, then committing to a job is nothing to fear. However, if a student is undertaking a heavy course load or pursuing a rigorous degree program, it may be wise to devote more time to studying than to a job. In some instances, a higher GPA matters more to future employers than prior student work experience. Even if working does not eat into your scholastic endeavors, it may be wise to not overload yourself if it will lead to stress and thus worse academic performance. Federal work study is like most things in that it has positives and negatives. While it can be a great way to pay for college because it does not incur debt one must pay after earning their degree, it does take up a student’s time which could be vital for scholastic prosperity. I think a work study job is not the most time-consuming activity students can pursue beyond their classwork. The accuracy of my belief depends on the subjectivity of each individual, the school in consideration, and even the specific requirements of the job. The decision to pursue Federal Work Study should be made thoughtfully.

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