Mapping Your Future: Facts about work-study that your college financial aid counselor wants you to know

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Facts about work-study that your college financial aid counselor wants you to know

By Catherine Mueller

May 14, 2018

Despite the name, work-study doesn't mean that your school or college will pay you to study.

While that would be a nice thing, work-study is actual work that will help you pay for your education expenses.

That was one of the facts about work-study that financial aid professionals discussed during a recent conference in South Dakota. Some of other reminders about work-study from the financial aid experts were:

  • It's a real job. Students are not getting paid to study. Sure, there might be some jobs where students shave some downtime and can read a textbook, but many of the jobs require full attention.
  • Work-study is not guaranteed. There's no guarantee that a student will get a work-study job or that you will earn the full amount indicated on the award letter.
  • Complete the paperwork. Because it is a real job, there is other paperwork you must complete to get the job, such as an application and a W-4 (tax-withholding form).
  • Students are paid for work-study. The pay comes in the form of paycheck. The amount earned from work-study is not deducted from the tuition.
  • Work hours cannot conflict with classes. If a class is cancelled, a student may be able to work that class time to earn money, but it must be approved.

Work-study jobs are usually on campus but may sometimes be off campus depending on the program at the school. For more information about work-study, contact the financial aid office at the school or college.