The Basics of Federal Work-Study

Earn money by working your way through college.


Don't think you'll get any gift aid to help you pay for college? Don't want to borrow any money for college? There is another option — You can work while attending school.

There are all kinds of jobs out there. Some students work part-time during school; and others work full-time while they're in school part-time. Some students participate in summer internships and others just work odd jobs when they can get them.

Federal Work-Study

There are even jobs that the federal government helps to fund. The Federal College Work-Study Program provides funding for jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need attending any eligible postsecondary school. This program allows students to earn money to pay educational expenses by working either on campus or within the community.

When you apply for federal financial aid by completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you can indicate on your application that you want Work-Study assistance. Your financial need and the school you attend will determine if you qualify and the amount of Work-Study you're eligible for.

Some campuses sponsor their own work programs for enrolled students. Check with the financial aid office at the school you hope to attend to find out more information.

Benefits of a part-time job in the Work-Study Program (if you qualify):

  • You can work on or off campus.
  • You cannot work during scheduled class times.
  • You can gain work experience and contacts that look impressive on a resume.
  • You may be able to find a job in your area of study.
  • You can borrow less!

Still need more information?

To obtain more information on federal or state financial aid programs, contact the financial aid office at the school you attend.

If you are not eligible for the Federal Work-Study Program, you may be able to find employment on your own to help you meet college expenses.


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