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The ABC's of Work Study

Perhaps one of the most commonly misunderstood concepts of student employment is that of work study. The following information should give you a basic understanding of work study. For more information contact the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

How do I qualify for Work Study?

Work Study is not something that everyone qualifies for. It is awarded as determined by your financial need based on your FAFSA. The Work Study program is federally funded so the award is not determined by the financial aid counselors on our campus.

I qualify for Work Study, how do I get my money?
This is the part that confuses most people. Being awarded Work Study on your financial aid package DOES NOT guarantee you a job. You will need to apply for positions just as everyone else does. Once you obtain an on-campus job or another work-study approved position, you will receive a pay check every two weeks just like any other University employee.

Then what's the point? How does Work Study help me?

The number one way Work Study can help you is by allowing you to earn weekly (or bi-weekly) income that is considered to be financial assistance. What this means is that when completing the FAFSA for the next academic year, the money you have earned from your work study position will not have to be claimed as income and may, in fact, show additional financial need. 

Another benefit is that because the Federal College Work Study program is supported by Federal funds, on-campus employers are attracted to hiring work study eligible students -- those students essentially do not "cost" the department or office "their own" operating money. Some jobs on-campus actually require you to be eligible for Work Study before you can even apply. So, it is always good to list on your resume that you are work study eligible, but it is more important to have a great resume in general!