Silas Scott / The Mainstream
Ann Abel’s work study office is located in the LaVerne Murphy Student Center.

Work study helps students gain relevant work experience while earning income

Often students work to help cover the costs of tuition and living while attending college. One great option for student employment is federal work-study, which allows students to be employed and usually within their field of study.

 “Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a federal financial aid work program that provides students the opportunity to work a part-time job on or off campus and earn a paycheck to decrease student loan debt. In order to be eligible, students must apply for financial aid, demonstrate financial need, and be enrolled at least half time,” according to UCC’s website.

Work-study can help build a students work experience and better prepares them for employment after school. “Work study helps to train you in basic job skills,” Ann Abel, UCC’s work-study coordinator, said.

Work-study is a first come first serve basis and is flexible around your time. If a student has a couple of hours in between classes and can work then you it is possible to squeeze some work-study in, according to Abel. It is part-time.

Work-study can be on campus or off campus. Jobs in work-study can range from an office clerk to a web producer, according to UCC’s website.

What it takes to get into work-study:

FAFSA is used to determine eligibility, according to UCC’s website. “When being placed for work study they try to place you in your field of study,” Abel said.

The Steps to Get into Work Study:

  1.     Apply for FAFSA and check ‘yes’ or ‘I don’t know’ on whether you have an interest in work study.
  2.     Finish FAFSA forms and submit.
  3.     Finish the financial aid file with the school (UCC) and wait for an email from them (see Ann Abel for the financial aid form).
  4.    The email should include an offer for work-study.
  5.    You must then follow UCC’s FWS (federal work-study) placement steps.

Benefits of Work Study:

  • Provides financial assistance through college.
  • Earns you a paycheck (minimum wage).
  • Can help you in your career goals (the school will try to place you in your field of study).
  • Can spice up your resume.
  • Earnings are “removed” from income on your FAFSA, according to UCC’s website.

The placement process is carried out during the first week in fall and summer terms and you must be enrolled with at least 6 credits.

 Some students are already familiar with work-study.

“Was looking for a job and found a link at UCC’s website for work study,” Caleen Kiley, a UCC student who works at UCC’s Hawk Shop, said, “If you can get into work study you should.”

Some students are familiar with being turned down for work-study.

“They said that I didn’t have a ‘need’ for work study. I was turned down,” Boone Olson, a UCC student, said.

Important things to keep in mind:

  •    Work study often has a waiting list.
  •    You can be turned down based on need.
  •    You log your hours on a time sheet or a direct deposit can be setup.
  •     It is part-time.

In addition, if you do not meet qualifications for work study after filling out and submitting FAFSA you still have the change to be offered a few different financial aid resources Scholarships

  •     Tuition wavers
  •     Tribal Funds
  •     Merit Awards
  •     UCC student gas card program

For students who are uncertain if they qualify for work-study, UCC provides information on how they decide your eligibility.

“Most financial aid awards are based on financial need. Need is the difference between the Cost of Attendance (COA) and the Expected Family Contribution (EFC). EFC is determined by the Department of Education (DOE). Once students complete a FAFSA, the DOE provides their EFC amount via email,” from UCC’s website.

Students, who do not qualify for work-study can fall back on a regular job and apply for a part or full time job at UCC’s website. Jobs vary from being an instructor to helping out at the fitness center. These jobs do not give you the same benefits of federal work-study as they are regular jobs.

For any other help or questions regarding work-study Ann Abel’s office is located at LaVerne Murphy Student Center and can be contacted via phone: 541-440-4621.

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