What Are the Best Work-Study Jobs?

When you need a little extra help paying for college, consider checking out some of the best work-study jobs both on and off your campus.

The work-study program is a federal program that is open to both college and graduate students. Before you can sign up for one of these jobs, you will need to complete the FAFSA and file that form. If your answers show that you need more help beyond loans and grants, you may find that you have approval to apply for these jobs and find the best position for you.

Types of Jobs Available

The types of work-study jobs available depend on your campus and its program. Most schools offer jobs working in buildings on campus. You might help prepare and serve food or work the cash register in the cafeteria, or you might help students sign in and out at the fitness or activity center. Colleges also have jobs available in its maintenance or housekeeping departments and in libraries too. Some hire current students to solicit alumni for donations as well. Many colleges now have off-campus jobs available to students too.

How to Apply

Once you fill out the FAFSA, wait until you get a response back to ensure you qualify for this program. Your award package should come in the form of a letter that shows you how many grants you’ll get, the amount you can borrow in terms of loans and whether you can sign up for the work-study program. Many colleges have some type of online portal or job search site that shows you all the available jobs and how you can apply. You’ll usually need to submit a copy of your resume or fill out a form that shows the work experience you have to apply for one of those open positions.

How Much Can You Make?

According to U.S. News & World Report, work-study jobs must pay minimum wage but some jobs pay much more. Those earning minimum wage will earn more than $7 an hour, but there are some jobs available that pay more than $10 an hour. Graduate students may seek out and apply for positions that come with a regular salary instead of an hourly wage. Salaried jobs often require that students work at least 20 hours a week. Jobs for undergrads may let students work just 10 hours or less each week.

Choosing the Best Job

When searching for open positions, you need to look for the best work-study jobs for you. As many colleges do not let freshmen have cars on campus, you may need to look for jobs on campus that you can commute too easily. If you have your own vehicle, you can expand your search to companies away from campus. You also need to think about what you enjoy doing. Those who love technology may like working at the help desk, while those who prefer working independently may prefer a job working in the stacks in the campus library.

The top work-study jobs are those that make use of your interests and skills. You can find these jobs on and off campus and through the job search site maintained by your college. The best work-study jobs can include jobs working in the library or fitness center and positions working off-campus too.