What are Work-Study Opportunities in College?

If you are still doubtful of pursuing college after researching all information concerning financial aid and scholarship programs, it’s time to learn about work-study options!

Some people overlook work-study programs thinking it may not be worth the time and effort (considering the demands of college life). One thing is for sure, though: if work pays well enough, it sure can sustain and help you finish college.  

What is work-study?

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A work-study program is a type of federal financial assistance available for incoming college students who demonstrate a financial need. It requires students to work and earn some money to pay for their school and tuition fees. Participants of these programs usually work for a part-time job, which is often located on-campus.

Due to the limited slots in each college, it is tough to land on a work-study program. It is also often awarded on a first-come-first-serve basis, so you must apply as quickly and efficiently as possible.

How do you qualify for work-study?

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Similar to applying for other financial aid programs, it all starts with filling up the FAFSA form. Applicants should prove that they are truly in need of assistance. The secret to increasing your qualifying chances is to file your FAFSA earlier than most applicants, so you don’t run out of opportunities.

Do you meet the need-based criterion? To help you do this, use online tools such as those that require you to input your family’s financial capacity. Such tools can give you a reasonable estimate of your chances of federal work-study application success.

Most first-year college students can meet all federal financial aid requirements but fail in the needs-based department. When this happens, seek assistance from your academic departments and offices and ask about institutional work-study programs.

Unlike the federal work-study option, institutional work-study programs pertain to on-campus jobs that do not require applicants to show financial need. 

What work-study opportunities are available?

Interested in the work-study program? Here are some of the common jobs to help you make ends meet while in college:

Office Secretary or Assistant

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As a secretary in an academic office, administration department, school gym, and records section, you will be tasked to file documents, answer phone calls, reply to emails, and assist professors and school personnel. This position helps you gear up for work in the corporate setting. 

IT Guy (Information Technology Support)

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If you love computers and possess the right technical know-how, apply as computer support personnel! Through this job, you put your skills to the test and develop them for your benefit while assisting your school and getting paid! Computer laboratories usually have work-study staff who assist with troubleshooting computer units, printers, and other related equipment.

Library Staff or Assistant

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Working in a library, you will stack books, assist professors and students in locating certain books, answer inquiries, and perform similar customer service tasks. Library work may sound unexciting, but it is the type of work experience that usually attract employers’ attention.

School Tour Guide

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Alumni and school staff often conduct tour guides for visitors and guests on your campus, but work-study personnel can also take on this responsibility! You will mostly be touring high school students during your school’s open house event. The benefits? You meet and communicate with many people on every tour, improve your social and interpersonal skills, build your confidence, and widen your network. All these will prove useful when you embark on a career. 

Other equally interesting and unique work-study opportunities are offered to college students out there! Remember to choose a work-study program that aligns with your field of interest while building your skills and preparing you for your future career. If that job experience would look good on your resume, grab it!