Earn some money in college with a work-study program

What work-study financial aid looks like in college

Earn some money in college with a work-study program

Between balancing college’s two biggest priorities—acing your test and enjoying your youth—who has time for a job?

You do!

Especially if you qualify for work-study, a financial aid program that lets you work to earn money to put toward tuition, books and college life. Here are a few students who are taking advantage of work-study opportunities.

Name: Audrey McDougal
College: Hampshire College (hampshire.edu)
Job: Art studio cleaner

Q: What did you do for work-study?
A: I clean the school’s sculpture studio. This includes sweeping, organizing tools, cleaning up leftover materials, and preparing space for classes. It’s a valuable job for an art major like me, because I am constantly surrounded by artists and their work.

Q: Did you find it difficult to balance a job and class?
A: My advisor allowed me to switch which days I came in to work, as long as I showed up twice a week. Depending on how busy I was, I could work whenever I could find time.

Q: What was your pay, and what did it go toward?
A: I got paid $8 an hour, and I spent it on daily living expenses and doing things with my friends. I had the choice for my paycheck to go straight to my tuition bill, but using my salary as weekly spending money and for school supplies meant that my parents didn’t have to help me with those expenses.

Name: Kate Ostrander
College: Northeastern University (northeastern.edu)
Job: Service-learning teaching assistant (S-L TA) for the Northeastern Center of Community Service

Q: What did you do for your work-study?
A: As an S-L TA, I work with classes that integrate specific community service projects that are directly related to course material. For example, when I worked with a microbiology course for non-science majors, the students did work with community partners to [provide] infectious disease education, prevention, and support.

Q: Did you find it difficult to balance a job and class?
A: It is always a challenge to balance courses and the rest of your life. But the second semester that I worked in this role, it got easier because I knew the routine of the semester.

Q: What was your pay, and what did it go toward?
A: I got paid my entire stipend of $1,250 a semester almost on a salary basis. I’m pretty sure I exceeded the hours I would need to fulfill that stipend at $8.50 an hour, but was happy to do so.

 

Name: Liz Swindell
College: UMass Amherst (umass.edu)
Job: Ceramics tech assistant

Q: What did you do for work-study?
A: I was the assistant to the ceramics tech at UMass Amherst. I was in charge of making clay, mixing glazes, and cleaning the classrooms for ceramic students. I worked with the technician individually to prep for classes.

Q: Did you find it difficult to balance a job and class?
A: Working for the ceramics department allowed me to learn far more than possible through classes alone. I leaned so much from doing rather than learning in the classroom.

Q: What was your pay, and what did it go toward?
A: I started at $8.50 but ended at $10.50. It was mostly food and recreational spending money, which really didn’t add up to be much!



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