Work Study is a great way to help pay for your education while working part-time. The Federal Work Study and state-sponsored Montana State Work Study Programs give you the opportunity to work part-time while going to school. To qualify for Work Study jobs you must demonstrate financial need and have a Work Study award as part of your overall financial aid award. If you have financial need and haven’t been awarded Work Study you can talk to a financial aid counselor about being placed on the Work Study waiting list. Please keep in mind that Work Study is only one type of job on campus. There are non-work study positions on-campus and other part-time employment jobs off-campus too.
In a Work Study program, the employer pays only 25-60 percent of the student’s wages; the rest is subsidized by federal or state funds. Work Study students can, therefore, find jobs and may be able to keep their loan debt down by earning part of their aid eligibility, rather than borrowing more loans. Jobs may be located on or off campus with non-profit organizations or private corporations. Many offer career-related and/or community service experience. A student may work up to 19 hours per week and pay rates are the same as for comparable, non Work Study jobs. No job pays less than the prevailing minimum wage. In addition, the America Reads/America Counts program offers reading and math tutoring jobs in local elementary schools and family literacy programs.
Work Study allows an individual to work for any office or organization on campus or for certain approved off-campus employers. Students who accept Work Study on their Financial Aid Award are required to complete a questionnaire and then are placed in a Work Study position, based on the responses to that questionnaire.
Typically, you are paid minimum wage for the hours you work. The money earned on an hourly basis is then deducted from the total amount of the award until it is exhausted. At that point, you must stop working or be hired on as a Non-Work Study employee.
Students submitting the FAFSA by the December 1 priority date, who show need, are generally awarded Work Study.
You may be wondering what makes Work Study better than getting a job at a local fast food restaurant?
- This program is specifically designed for college students.
- The work schedules revolve around your school schedule.
- The jobs available are located primarily on campus, which allows you to work between classes without having to commute.
- It is also possible to get a job in an area related to your field of study, giving much needed working experience and valuable references.
- The best benefit of all is that the amount earned does not count against you on next year’s FAFSA!
If you are not awarded work study, there could be several reasons:
- You did not apply to Dawson Community College by December 1.
- You are ineligible for Work Study.
- We have exhausted our work study funds and have no more money to award to students. (In this case, you may ask to be put on a waiting list in case more funds become available.)
Work Study Forms