Is Work-Study Right For You?

is work-study right for you?Work-study programs give students a nice source of income while they are in school that can help them pay their bills. For others, however, they simply do not earn enough to justify the time commitment.

The federal government’s work-study program is the one most widely one by students. Universities like this program because the federal government covers half of the wages that the students are paid, so from the University’s perspective, these students are cheap labor.

While the pay isn’t great, many students like work-study because the jobs are actually pretty good. In addition, the universities that employ them generally understand when you need to take time off for class and study.

The downside of work-study compared to other types of financial aid is that it does require a substantial time commitment while you are in school. In contrast, if you get a grant or scholarship, then that’s basically free money. If you take out a loan, then that’s money you’ll need to work for after college.

Ultimately, whether or not work-study works for you depends on your own needs. Are you reluctant to make that time commitment while you’re in school? If you need to work, can you make more money outside the program?

If you have good financial aid options and have a demanding major where you need to spend hours every day hitting the books, then a work-study job may not be the best idea for you.

On the other hand, if you are reluctant to take out loans and have the time, work-study may make a lot of sense for you.

At the very least, you should definitely see what kind of work-study options you have. Fill out your FAFSA, evaluate your options with your school’s financial aid office and take it from there.

Photo by Parker Knight / CC-BY 2.0

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