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Benefits of work-study for college students / By: Janel Ray


School will be less expensive if a college student has a full ride, scholarships, or grants. But, what happens when you don’t have a full ride or do not have enough funds in scholarship money? What can you do? One popular option that colleges and universities offer is work-study. Work-study is a federally funded program to help students with college costs. Teddy Nykiel states that “Although your financial aid award letter may list a certain amount allocated for work-study — say, $5,000 — that doesn’t mean you automatically get that money. You have to find a work-study-eligible job and then work enough hours to earn that amount” (Nykiel, 2021).

Why is work-study essential and how does it help pay for college? Kenneth Banks, an Illinois College graduate says “It allows students to work and earn money that fits into their schedule. It also allows students to pay for needs such as food and bills (tuition). Work-study allows students to pay for rent if they live off campus. Work study is essential because it will enable students to fund college, have flexible work schedules, and improve productivity.”

Work study has many benefits. Jessica Holmes argues that “students can gain unique skills difficult to gain elsewhere and a quality work-study experience looks great on a resume” (Holmes, 2022).

Vincent Harris, Executive Director of student financial services at Olive-Harvey College says “Through work-study students are able to start work, take a break to go to class, and resume working after classes. Work study should continue to be used and marketed because the program is mutually beneficial to the college as well as the students. Typically, Federal Work Study students are paid at least minimum wage, with the option to receive increases over time. This allows the institution to benefit based on possible cheaper labor.”


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