The Federal Work-Study Program provides part-time jobs for students with financial need to help pay for college. Jobs may offer experience related to a student’s major, or involve community service with a nonprofit or public agency. Sometimes they’re just regular on-campus jobs with flexible schedules that enable students to earn college spending money.
The program is administered through the school’s financial aid department and is available to undergrads and graduate students. Usually, a Work-Study award will be included as part of a student’s financial aid package, and the position may be accepted or declined.
College Work-Study Programs and Co-operative Education
Colleges may offer their own work-study programs for students in particular majors or departments to help them get experience in their chosen field while earning money for school. These are usually part-time jobs during the school year, and sometimes pay more than federal work-study does. Some programs are open only to students in their second year or more, so make sure to talk to your department about what work-study opportunities they may have.
Co-operative Education (co-op) programs enable students to work in their chosen field for an entire semester, earning money and valuable work experience at the same time. They are basically paid internships undertaken during the school year, and you may earn a good hourly wage or even a salary while you work. This program tends to offer more intensive work experience than other work-study options, but because you work full-time for certain semesters instead of taking classes, they may delay your graduation date. Still, a co-op opportunity can be a great way to get paid work experience while you’re in school.