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Old 11-22-08, 10:26 AM   #1
UnsafeAlpine
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Work-Study?

I need to talk to my school about setting up a work study position for next semester. I think it might be more beneficial than working at FedEx or something, and with my no-lavish lifestyle, the amount I'd be paid would be fine.

I won't be able to check with them for a week, but I looked on the website and it said all I had to do was apply for FAFSA. Surely there is more to it, otherwise I'd be a work-study right now... Can anyone tell me what the qualifications are for this program?
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Old 11-22-08, 10:55 AM   #2
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Work study is a crock because they limit how many hours you can work (or at least they did when I was in school). The only advantage to WS is because your salary is subsidized, more jobs are open. Disclaimer: my WS experience is from over 20 years ago, so things may be different now.

I think I did WS for one or two semesters tops and switched to regular employment because of the hours limit. FedEx would probably be a better ride if you can swing it. One thing I hate about situations where the employer doesn't pay the full cost is it encourages them to create jobs where you waste your time doing useless stupid things.
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Old 11-22-08, 02:33 PM   #3
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At my school, having a work-study program almost guarantees that you'll find a job somewhere on campus. However, the hours that you work are limited, and they don't roll over into next year (use them or lose them).
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Old 11-22-08, 03:14 PM   #4
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Pro's- Often times work study is a little more laid back, hours are more flexible, you dont have to leave campus.

Cons- You can get a better paying job off campus


You have to qualify for work study. Often times schools will still hire students for campus jobs even if they do not qualify for work study, the school will just pay in full. If your in school you should have already filled out your fafsa form. You have to qualify for work study so talk to your Fin. Aid office.
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Old 11-22-08, 09:52 PM   #5
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you have to be broke to get into it. and the money isn't guaranteed like a loan is, so if you end up without work you'll either need to get a loan or be really damned screwed. that's why i never bothered with it.
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Old 11-22-08, 10:47 PM   #6
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I loved work study. I found jobs on campus that paid more than any job off campus would have paid me. Read: no car needed--great for the budget--- and no hideous hours. At the time, 20 hours per week was the work-study limit, which was FINE by me. I think it's too much to work 20 hours/week and go to class and get decent grades.

It used to be that one applied for financial aid before the start of the school year. Don't let this stop you; start asking now, maybe there's still availability. Work study, like other financial aid, was granted based on need. Yes, use it or lose it. I don't recall a problem with running out.
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Old 11-23-08, 07:44 AM   #7
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It all depends on the school. Schools with limited Fin Aid funds will only pay up to the value of your work study grant. Other schools will pay more then that out of pocket. It depends on so many things. Go talk to your Fin Aid office and see what they have to say. And for gods sake fill out your FAFSA form! You can still use last years tax info.
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Old 11-23-08, 08:19 AM   #8
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I guess I wasn't quite clear. I have already qualified for FAFSA. That's how I paid for school this semester.
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Old 11-23-08, 08:32 AM   #9
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Well you do not actually qualify for FAFSA, it is just a form. FAFSA stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. You fill out this form and send it to the govt (all based on tax records). The government comes up with the Estimated Family Contribution (EFC) which is the number that they think your family could pay for college.

The EFC is then sent off to the schools. The school then tries to meet as much of this need as possible. You might hear this as called the 'gap.' Work Study is just one way that a school will give out money to meet your need based on the EFC. They also use other federal programs like loans and then institutional funds like grants and merit aid.

So you have already filled out your FAFSA form, you should have received your Fin Aid package in the mail. On this it will list your different types of aid. Most schools will also list Work Study if you qualify. I do not know anything about your school so who knows how they do it. Just ask the office if you qualify for Work Study, if yes then great, if no ask if there is a way you can still get a job on campus.

I work in Admissions and Financial Aid by the way.
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Old 11-23-08, 09:51 AM   #10
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I've done work-study. I worked as a teaching assistant or research assistant for geology profs. I helped out in geology lab classes: in the classroom helping students with assignments, grading assignments (at home), and going on geology field trips to help out. I got $9/hr.
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Old 11-23-08, 11:16 AM   #11
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Here's how financial aid works:

student files the FAFSA, which results in an EFC (estimated family contribution). There's a little question on the FAFSA which tells the school if you're interested in Work-Study, Loan, Both, or Neither. If you didn't indicate you were interested in work-study, no one in the FA Office would bother offering you any!

school takes the Cost of Attendance (varies from school to school), subtracts the EFC, and determines the student's need. School starts "packaging" for need - 1st, whatever GIFT aid is available - Gift aid is money you don't pay back or work for: Pell Grants, ACD Grants, stste grants, scholarships, etc. If the student still has need, and has indicated they are interested in Work Study, the school would offer W-S next (different school have different policies about the hours, amounts offered, and the pay scales). A work-study "award" is for a certain dollar amount which may determine a student's work hours - the school may award $5000 for the year - this means the student may only work - AND EARN - $5000 for that school year. After work-study, the school turns to loans in order to meet a student's need.

Work Study earnings are generally taxable income, BUT the FAFSA application gives the student an opportunity to provide the amount of taxable income earned through work-study, so that amount (considered financial aid) is offset from the student's income in the EFC formula.

AND - NEWS FLASH: beginning July 1, 2009, students may be paid PELL GRANTS for more than an academic year. So, you can get your Pell Grant award for FALL, SPRING, AND SUMMER from ONE award year so that you can get through school quicker without necessarily incurring more loan debt for that summer term! (Yes, this means that if you have a "0" EFC and attend school full time, you can get $2365.50 in Pell for the Fall, $2365.50 for the Spring, and $2365.50 for the Summer) WooHoo!

(I am a SFA professional)
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Old 11-23-08, 11:27 AM   #12
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I did work study the last two semesters I was in school. I thought it was a great experience and it seemed to work really well for my schedule. I think all I had to do was talk to a Financial Aide adviser at my school and we got it all set up that way. There is also a web page that lists all the work study positions available. As for requirements, I think you just need to be a student in need of financial aide.
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Old 11-23-08, 07:00 PM   #13
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UA, if you were eligible for work-study, you should have gotten a notice in your award papers. Check the paper work you received for this (2008/2009) school year. If you don't see anything there, call your financial aid office.

Is this your first year? I ask because, if were awarded work-study last year and did not use it, it's highly possible you lost it. If you have lost it, you can ask for it back. This happened to me; I was a very naive freshman, but all went well...I got it back.

When you call them, be polite, and don't be frustrated by the process; the people answering the questions don't make the rules. If the person answering the phone says you are not eligible, then, make an appointment with a financial aid councilor to talk more about it. This is basically "talking to the supervisor".

Good luck!!!
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