When you fill out the FAFSA and file it, the college or university that you applied to will decide on how much financial aid you get and whether you qualify for loans, grants or even a work-study job on campus. These jobs are usually available through the college itself and pay you a rate based on the current minimum wage. You can use the money you earn to pay for college, textbooks, extra expenses or even for your own personal expenses, though you may wonder how you get one.
Types of Jobs Available
There are a large number of jobs available on college campuses for students that are part of this program. The college will often attempt to find you a job that relates to your major, but this is more common in regards to grad students than undergrads. You might work as an assistant to a college professor, in the library or even as a custodian. Many schools also hire students to work in the alumni center. These students are responsible for calling graduates and asking them for donations to support the school.
When you work for your college, you can expect to earn an amount equivalent to the current federal minimum wage amount. Schools must agree to pay students this amount at minimum, but the schools have the right to pay students even more. Colleges located in states with a higher minimum wage than the federal average will typically pay students a rate based on the state amount because this keeps students from looking for jobs off campus. Though some schools only pay students once every month, you may get a job that pays you once a week or once every two weeks.
How Much You Can Work
According to Federal Student Aid, you cannot work as many hours as you want. This branch of the United States Department of Education claims that the school will base the total amount that you can work in a week on your level in school and your schedule. Those enrolled full-time will often receive more hours than those enrolled part-time will. You can also expect the college to let you work more hours each week after you finish your first and second years and show that you are capable of handling both work and school. Students typically work between five and 20 hours a week.
Getting a Job
The only way that you can get a work-study job is via the FAFSA. This free form, which you can now file online, lets the college know how much you or your family can contribute to your overall school expenses. It will then deduct the loans, grants and other types of financial aid that you receive and decide if you qualify for this program. Though some colleges will automatically assign you a job based on your major or the jobs available, others will require that you look through open positions and apply for those that interest you.
Working on the college campus where you also live and study makes it easy to get to work on time every day. Once you file the FAFSA, your college will determine if you qualify for any financial aid and help you find a work-study job on that campus for you.
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