According to the 2018 “How America Pays for College” survey, conducted by Sallie Mae and Ipsos, about 56% of college students reported that they worked at some point during the school year.

For some of these students, this situation may be the result of opting into the Federal Work-Study Program

This program provides funding for students in exchange for part-time work. Students who opt-in to the program when completing the FAFSA and qualify for this type of aid will see it listed as part of their financial aid award letters from the universities.

Work-Study jobs, however, are not guaranteed. When students receive Work-Study aid as part of their awards, this means that they are now responsible for finding eligible jobs and submitting applications, just as they would for any other job.

If they do not find a job, they do not receive this money.

Students aren’t completely on their own, though. Schools that offer Work-Study will usually direct students to online job listings or hold Work-Study job fairs to help students find these jobs.

For those who qualify, Work-Study may seem like an attractive opportunity–it helps pay for college and it helps build their resumes.

But these awards are likely to cover only a small percentage of the total cost of college. In 2017, students received an average of $2,353 in Work-Study aid.

While the Work-Study Program can help in paying for college, it is in your best interest to prioritize finding the grants and awards that are going to pay for the bulk of your child’s college tuition and fees.

Have more questions about paying for college, register for our upcoming webinar at

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