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Guide on What Is Federal Work-Study Award And How Does It Work?

Written by Aaliya Shaikh

A piquant and humorous writer with the love to scrawl and create. For me writing is supreme. To believe that I can give words to my thoughts and connect to people through it is extraordinary.

August 17, 2021

The Federal Work-Study Award also known as the FWS award is designed to help university students find a part-time job opportunity and countervail college expenses. The program is supervised by the US Department of Education. This acts as one way of financial aid that the government makes feasible to students who require money with college expenses. 

The program entirely relies on the federal government and their funding, but the participating colleges have to play a huge role in allocating money to their students. Their job includes administering work-study openings. According to public research, there are 3,400 colleges & universities along with professional schools that have cooperated and become a part of the work-study award program to some extent. 

Although the administrative technicalities of work-study may differ from college to college, a large scale regulation governs the program. 

Here Are The Fundamentals Of A Federal Work-Study Award

  • The Department of Education donates money: This money is provided to the schools that participate in the FWS award program. The amount depends on two main factors; one is the financial requirements of the student body of that school and the other is the number of work-study jobs available.
  • Student Selection: The Student selection for the Federal work-study award entirely depends on the schools. It depends on their extensive financial aid package that also includes grants and loans. 
  • Job location: The students who obtain the designated work-study program gets a job on campus or local community, Once hired, the student earns the amount of money that was defined in the federal work-study award letter.

This may seem like any other conventional part-time opportunity to many but it has many different beneficial aspects. The federal work-study award is distinct because there is a role of federal funding. For every student to avail of this, the federal government pays a portion of the student’s payments, while the school takes care of the rest. In a few cases, the government pays most (or all) of the bill/expense. 

This means that schools have a great incentive to hire work-study award students for different job positions all across the campus. They can pitch in and help their students to make ends meet through solid part-time opportunities – and pay marginally less for the labour. 

The same goes for students, the benefits are significant. Most work-study positions are fun, fulfilling, and interesting as they are designed to be flexible and feasible for the student to accommodate with studies. Moreover, the job is particularly designed for work-study students which means the pool of competition is comparatively smaller. 

One more advantage of a federal work-study award letter is that it can fuel your resume and help your career later. While you are earning the money to afford student life, you can build your resume alongside. If you look at the end of your academic year, who wouldn’t want to have minimum debt and more work experience?

Who Is Eligible For Work-Study Program?

Work-study opportunities are made available to a massive number of students on different educational paths. In the end, it entirely depends on the schools to decide which students will be offered this award and how much they will earn from it. To be considered for the work-study program, here are some basic eligibility criteria.

  • You must be a current student in an undergraduate, graduate, or professional program. The students who are a part of the vocational program certify as professional students. 
  • You must be enrolled in a degree-seeking program (part-time or full time)
  • You must be enrolled in a school that is participating in the FWS program.
  • You must demonstrate and prove your need for financial assistance in deal with costs of college and other related expenses

To apply for financial aid, your first step is to complete the FAFSA known as the Free Application For Federal Student Aid. This is an extensive document that helps your school understand your financial resources. 

What Kind Of Federal Work-Study Award Jobs Are Available?

There are various part-time job positions available that may surprise students sometimes. Most colleges offer a mix of service, administrative, teaching roles, and research. This is by no means an extensive list but gives you a good sense of understanding of the opportunities available.

  • Tutor Roles: Usually the tutors and teaching assistants are work-study recipients. They earn this position by being exceptional in a particular subject. Hence they teach it to others.
  • Admissions and student life roles: Work-study students perform exciting and fun gigs like leading the campus tours for potential students. They even lead orientation groups for freshmen or serve as a resident assistant (RA). All these roles are highly interactive and help you develop your interpersonal skills. You can even make valuable sources through them when done right.
  • Research Role: Many students earn by helping the laboratory or library faculties with their research projects. These students earn their positions through academic brilliance. 

Work-study students perform jobs that keep the colleges running and if these options do not speak to you, then you can even go ahead and look for off-campus work-study jobs in the local community. Good luck! 

Let us know your thoughts on the Federal Work-Study Award in the comments below!

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