Show Me the Money! Part 6: Work-Study

(Paychecks & Valuable Experience)


By RENE TREZISE, Director of Marketing and Communications, Potomac State College


College Students Wanted Ö for Work-Study Jobs. This federal program provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses. In addition to the paycheck, work-study jobs often provide students with valuable experience in their field of study which will prove beneficial when entering the working world.


Undergraduate students will be paid by the hour, while graduate students can be paid either by the hour or receive a set salary. The pay rate is the current minimum wage but the amount can be higher depending on the type of work and the skills required. Students must be paid at least once a month. Also, the college must directly pay the student unless he or she requests that the college make payments directly to his or her bank account or use the money to pay for the studentís institutional charges such as tuition, fees, and room and board.


A studentís Federal Work-Study award depends on when he or she applies, the studentís level of need and the funding level of the school. The duration of the job is determined by the amount of monetary award. In other words, a student can work only for as long as the money is allotted. However, another good point for a Federal Work-Study job is that when assigned work hours, the studentís employer or financial aid administrator will consider the studentís class schedule and his or her academic progress.


Students generally work from 10 to 15 hours per week during the academic year and up to 40 hours per week during the summer at on-campus or off-campus jobs. If the job is on campus then the student usually works for the college. And if the job is off campus, the employer is usually a private nonprofit organization or a public agency and the work performed must be in the public interest. If the studentís college has agreements with private for-profit employers for Federal Work-Study jobs, then the job must be relevant to the studentís course of study. (If the student is attending a career school, there might be further restrictions on the jobs the student can be assigned.)


Again, the key is to submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This application is available from high school guidance counselors, college admission offices and the web at . All college-bound students are encouraged to complete the FAFSA since there is no application fee.


Additional Resources: 


All "College Tips" columns are available at .

WV Apply, Admission and Financial Aid Information at


Mineral County Technical Center at


Potomac State College of West Virginia University at or (304-788-6820 or tollfree: 1-800-262-7332)


Eastern Community and Technical College at (304-434-8000; or tollfree: 1-877-982-2322)