What is work-study? Because the study fee remains a source of concern for low-income students, the work-study program plays a vital role in boosting motivation and alleviating financial stress while learning at colleges. Do you get a deep understanding of that program? Do not pass up this valuable opportunity if you prepare to enter a college or university. Hanfincal will show you everything you need to know about it.
1. What is work study?
The Work-Study Program, also known as the Federal work-study, provides part-time jobs for all students in financial need to earn more money to cover education and other expenses. Furthermore, this program encourages students to choose jobs related to their current major to broaden their experience.
Here’s an overview of federal work-study:
- It is managed by schools that participate in the Federal Work-Study.
- Most of the jobs are temporary jobs; you can enroll in school while doing these jobs.
- It is open to all undergraduate, graduate, and professional students needing financial aid.
- Aside from part-time jobs, many full-time jobs meet the needs of students.
2. The benefits students can get
2.1. Helps cover education costs
The primary goal of this program is to assist students in overcoming financial stress while attending college or university. However, because the temporary job will help you get a small amount to assume expenses for you, this program will not be able to cover all of your college or graduate school-related costs.
2.2. It’s available to all students
Are you a first-year student, an undergraduate, a graduate, or a professional student? No matter what type of student you are, you can apply for this program if you still study in college or university. Furthermore, work-study opportunities are available for both full-time and part-time students and facilitate guarantees in financial help.
2.3. Enhances experience
Following the program’s primary goal, these jobs are typically community-oriented or related to the student’s field of study, thereby gaining the experience of all students. In addition, work-study is also an excellent way to improve your resume. These types of jobs require a wide range of skills and may provide you with the opportunity to gain experience related to the kind of career you want to pursue after graduation.
Furthermore, your extensive experience in your CV makes a favorable impression on potential employers. As a result, you can get a plus score from there.
2.4. Your earnings do not count toward FAFSA
The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) is the form you must complete to receive federal student aid to assist pay for college. The work-study program is distinct from FAFSA in that it allows you to combine two sources of income: FAFSA grant and work-study salary.
When you fill out your next FAFSA application, you will not be able to include all of your earnings from federal work-study jobs. On the other hand, earnings from regular employment would be counted as part of your total income on the form.
As a result, when submitting your form, make sure it accurately reflects your earnings from the previous year of work-study. You can get help from your school’s financial aid office. Many colleges and universities also send an official notice to students who participate in a Federal Work-Study in the early spring to remind them of their previous year’s work-study earnings.
Another important thing, you should report your previous year’s earnings from work-study jobs twice on the form. First, include your earnings from work-study jobs in your total income for the year. Second, in the question that asks how much you earned specifically through work-study, report your total work-study earnings. Reporting your revenue in those places ensures that your work-study incomes are not counted as part of your total income when calculating your package of financial aid.
2.5. Flexible in schedule
Employers who offer work-study positions frequently consider students’ schedules when assigning shifts. When it comes to your academic schedule, you may find that a program is more flexible than a traditional temporary job.
Most work-study positions are on-campus, making them more convenient than other positions. Commuting between classes, your work-study job, and your dormitory or apartment may be easier and faster if you live on campus.
2.6. It’s one type of a financial aid program
Participating colleges and universities administer federal work-study. Check with your school’s financial aid office to see if they participate in federal or state work-study programs.
2.7. A good backup prevents you from accruing student loans
If you do not intend to use the award, you can always apply for work-study assistance and later decline it. However, many students incur significant debt to cover college or graduate school educational expenses. Former students may end up repaying these loans for decades. Using work-study assistance can help you avoid accumulating some of this debt.
As a result, many college admissions officers advise students to first pursue work-study and other financial aid forms, such as grants and scholarships, before turning to student loans.
3. Who meets the requirements for this program?
- First, every student completes the FAFSA to be eligible for work-study. Check the box indicating that you want to join this program. Fill out the form as early in the application process as possible. Some aids are distributed on a first-served basis, which will work in your favor.
- Students who file their FAFSA early in the previous academic year (January or February) are more likely to receive work-study aid.
- Many factors determine whether you are eligible for work-study assistance on an annual basis or not. These include the total amount of work-study funding your school receives in a given year, the work-study budget allocated to you the previous year, your financial need, and your family’s income.
4. How much can I earn?
Participants can earn at least the current federal living wage of $7.25 per hour from the work-study program. However, depending on the job and the skills required for your position, you may earn more than the adequate income.
As a student, you will be paid hourly for a work-study position. Based on the nature of the role, graduate students on work-study may be paid by the hour or salary.
5. How to apply for the work-study program?
5.1. Fill out and submit your FAFSA
You can submit via mobile app. The FAFSA form is on the myStudentAid app, available on Google Play (Android) or App Store (iOS).
In other words, you can find the FAFSA form here and fill it out.
5.2. Looking at your award
You might be eligible for the Federal Work-Study if you filed your form. See the instructions below for a step-by-step guide on checking your award status.
How to Determine Whether You Have a Work-Study Award
- Step 1: Navigate to One.IU.
- Step 2: Type “view/manage my financial aid information.”
- Step 3: Choose the term you want to see.
- Step 4: A federal work-study award will be listed in your financial aid summary if you have been offered one.
5.3. Accepting your award
- Step 1: Log in to your One.IU again.
- Step 2: To access the drop-down menu, click on the Financials section.
- Step 3: Click on “Accept/Decline Award” and the appropriate term.
- Step 4: Accept the prize.
5.4. Earning your award
- Step 1: Students must apply for part-time jobs that accept the federal work-study.
- Step 2: Students and their supervisors must complete the Work-Study Authorization Form. This form links your award to the payroll processor. Fill out your section of the form and give it to your boss.
6.1. Do I have to accept work-study aid?
If work-study is included in your financial aid package and you do not intend to use it, you may decline the award. However, getting a work-study job is usually a good idea, significantly if it reduces your student loan and the debt you’ll have after graduation.
6.2. Do I have to pay back the money I earn?
Because it is your salary from your contribution and labor, the money you earn from this program is yours to keep. No organization can ask you to repay the money you earn from this.
6.3. Does my money from Federal work-study go directly into my bursar account?
Work-study earnings are not applied directly to your tuition and fees. Students who join this program receive their funds in the form of a paycheck as they work, just like any other job. These earnings are intended to assist students with day-to-day expenses and can not cover high costs such as tuition and housing.
6.6. Average work-study award
It depends on the minimum wage of the state where you currently living. A work-study job guarantees you at least the federal living wage of $7.25 per hour. If the state minimum wage is higher, you will earn at least that amount.
6.5. Does work-study affect future financial aid?
The money you get through work-study is taxable, and you must report it twice on your form the following year.
First off, include your work-study income in total earned from work that year.
Second, a subsequent question inquires about how much you earned through work-study the previous year. Fill that out because the money you earn through work-study will not be considered in the calculation that determines how much aid you are eligible for the following year.
Read carefully and get a deeper understanding of what is work study before applying. If you want to earn more money to cover your essential expenses, improve your skills and professional knowledge, or contribute to various public activities, apply for the work-study program. This is a fantastic opportunity that will provide you with numerous benefits. Put yourself to the test and apply for the program right away. HanFincal will show you how.
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