Federal work study is a type of federal scholarship that is awarded through financial aid to help students pay for college expenses. This fund makes it easier for college students to find part-time work. Students will be paid an hourly rate for the majority of work-study jobs available to them on their college campuses. Many off-campus employers, such as nonprofits and government agencies, prefer to hire work study students because the students’ pay comes from the federal government rather than their bank account. To apply for work study, complete a Financial Application for Student Aid (FAFSA), indicate your interest in the Work Study programme, and then follow the work-study application process at your college or university.
Part 1 Filling out the FAFSA
1. You may be eligible for work-study opportunities. Work-study positions, like any other type of student aid, can be competitive and are frequently in short supply on college campuses. To be eligible for a work-study position, you must be an American citizen. Work-study eligibility also has little to do with family income levels; even if you come from a higher-income family, you may still be selected for a work-study position based on academic merit or other factors.
The same principle applies to individuals whose families have saved money to pay for college tuition: you may still be eligible for a work-study position.
Even if you only attend college part-time, you may be eligible for a work-study position.
2. Fill out the FAFSA before the start of the school year. The annual FAFSA deadline occurs well in advance of the school year for which the work-study positions will be awarded in order for the application to be processed, money to be awarded, and information to be communicated to your college. Every year, the FAFSA application deadline is on or around June 30th. Individual colleges and universities may have deadlines that are earlier.
For each year that you require student aid, you must complete an FAFSA form. Even if you were awarded a work-study position for one school year, you must complete the FAFSA again for the following year.
3. Navigate to the website of the Federal Student Aid (FSA). To log in, enter your name and other information (SSN and date of birth) or enter your FSA ID. The FSA ID is a one-of-a-kind username that you can use to log in to the FSA website. If you do not already have an FSA ID, you can obtain one by visiting the FSAID website.
You may continue your current application as a returning user if you have previously begun filling out the FAFSA form. Otherwise, if you have never applied for financial aid before, begin a new application.
When you return to the FAFSA form, you will be prompted to enter your 4-digit Save Key. This is yet another method of identifying a person. Then press the “NEXT” button.
If you have never accessed the FAFSA form before, you will be given a 4-digit Save Key. Make a note of this number in case you need to access the FAFSA page again.
4. Begin filling out the Financial Aid application. Take your time going through the questions, and make sure you answer each one carefully and correctly. “Are you interested in being considered for work-study?” asks Question #5. Select “Yes” from the pull-down menu. You will not be considered for a work study position if you do not select “Yes” at this stage.
Complete the required questions and then click “NEXT.”
5. Choose the school(s) to which you want your FAFSA application sent. You can look up schools by state, city, and name, or by the federal school code. A quick Google search will yield the federal school code for the college. Remember to select the specific school where you want to work as a work-study student. If you are a student at a large state university, it is easy to select the incorrect university location.
Examine the drop-down list of financial aid-accepting colleges and universities. You can apply for financial aid before deciding which college to attend if you apply to up to five schools.
To officially select the school as an FAFSA recipient, you must click the “ADD” button; otherwise, an Error message will appear.
6. Respond to the questions about your dependency status. These include tax-return-related questions, for which you may require information from your parents. Remember that not everyone who applies for work study is accepted. The federal government selects recipients based on need and income. Awards are also distributed on a first-come, first-served basis, so fill out the FAFSA application as soon as you decide to apply for work study.
Answer the questions about annual income under the financial information tab. Don’t forget to click “NEXT” once you’ve finished answering the questions.
7. Sign and return the form. Fill out all of the required fields on the FAFSA, and read and agree to the legal disclaimer. Enter your FAFSA ID and password, then press the “SUBMIT MY FAFSA NOW” button.
Make a note of your confirmation number. This number should be sent to you via email as well.
8. Wait for your financial aid package to arrive. You will not be awarded financial aid, including work-study opportunities, immediately after submitting your FAFSA; the application takes time to process. If you were approved for work study, you will see the term “Work Study” in your Financial Aid Award on your school’s website before the start of the next school year.
If you applied for a work-study programme but did not receive permission to register by August 1st, contact your school’s Financial Aid department.
Part 2 Deciding on a Work-Study Position
1. Examine a list of work-study opportunities. Filling out the FAFSA form and being approved for work-study funds does not guarantee a job. Once you’ve been approved for work study, you’ll need to look for work in the same way you would for any other job, by searching for and applying for available positions. Most universities will list work study opportunities on their Financial Aid website.
If you are unable to locate a list of available work study positions, contact your school’s Financial Aid office.
It is best to look into these positions as soon as possible because popular jobs will fill up faster than less desirable opportunities.
Keep in mind that the federal government will determine the total amount of money you can earn in a year as a result of the FAFSA process. Your work-study supervisor may set your hourly rate, and some positions will pay more than others.
2. Choose whether you want to work on or off campus. While the majority of work-study positions will be on campus, there will most likely be some opportunities off campus as well. Because these positions are required by the federal government to benefit the public interest, you may see job postings for local nonprofits and government agencies.
Administrative assistant, bus driver, research assistant, and janitorial staff/cleanup crew are some examples of on-campus work study positions.
Tutoring local elementary school children, working the reference desk in a public library, or serving as an administrative assistant at a nonprofit organisation are all examples of off-campus work study positions.
3. Look for jobs that are related to your major or personal interests. Work study can be a great way to find a job in a field related to your academic interests—for example, your department may be looking for an administrative or research assistant. A work-study position can help you prepare for post-college employment, so apply for a position that is similar to one you want after graduation.
You should always apply for more than one position in case the first one is quickly filled. #* Thousands of students will apply for work-study positions if you attend a large university. Apply for several jobs to increase your chances of getting hired.
Part 3 Applying for a Work Study Job
1. Apply for work-study positions online. Because each university’s online application process varies, this will be slightly different for each. You will apply for work-study positions through the Financial Aid website at your school.
You may be asked to fill out a separate application for each work-study position, or you may be asked to upload your resume to a website where various potential employers can access it.
2. Interview for the job. If a work-study employer accepts your application, you will be scheduled for an interview. Handle this interview as you would any other: be professional and well-presented. Answer each question thoroughly, and see this interview as a chance to present yourself as a dedicated student who will use this opportunity to further your professional interests and benefit your employer.
You should also be able to discuss your work schedule during the interview. Determine how many hours you can work per week and ensure that your work schedule is compatible with your academic schedule.
This step should be repeated as needed. The first employer who interviews you may decide against hiring you. If you are invited to interview for multiple work-study positions, you may want to attend as many as possible and then weigh each position against the others.
3. Complete any paperwork that is required. Because your funding will be provided by the federal government, you may be required to complete additional paperwork following your interview. You’ll most likely need to go to your university’s HR department to fill out paperwork that will be used for tax purposes later on.
4. Prepare for a different process. The way colleges and universities handle work-study application, interview, and hiring processes varies greatly. In some cases, the process may be less formal than described in previous steps; employers may contact students directly, or the job-application process may be completed in person rather than electronically.
Prepare to seize opportunities that arise in your academic department or that you learn about from friends. Do not be afraid to ask professors if they are aware of any open work-study positions, and do not be afraid to ask already employed acquaintances if there are any openings in their workplace.
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