Applying for a federal work study job 101

Stephanie Sylvester

Copy Editor

The Federal Work-Study program is a program that provides employment to students with financial need. In order to qualify for Federal Work-Study, one must be eligible for Financial Aid. Some schools and departments may set additional requirements in regards to work experience, GPA, or major. 

Before applying to a work-study job, it is important to have a well-written cohesive resume. Just like any other job, work-study employers are concerned with past work experience, extracurricular activities, honors and awards.

Do not hesitate to visit the career center at your college campus to have your resume critiqued. Once your resume is ready, be sure to print out your school schedule as well as your unofficial transcript to bring to the interview. Most times, you will be required to email all your application materials, but it is a good habit to bring a copy (or two) of your application materials to the interview.  

Sometimes when applying for a work-study job, you will have to do two (sometimes three) interviews. You may be interviewed by different people in the department from the administrative assistant to the associate dean. Interview methods can range from over the phone to face-to-face. Do not fear. Simply put on your best smile, pack your passion, sit up straight and speak clearly. Be sure to understand why you are applying for a specific job and department and be able to express it eloquently. Following the interview, follow-up with the employer on your application status through phone or email and be sure to thank them for considering you for the position.

Once the employers see that you are awesome because your resume was perfect, your interview smile was gorgeous, and you followed up, then most likely you are hired. The hiring process can be lengthy as you will have to attend an orientation, sign numerous documents and take your ID picture. 

You may be wondering, “Where do I even find work-study jobs?” That is the easy part. You can visit your school’s website and check under the “Financial Aid” tab and look for “Work-Study.” There you will see all the jobs available in various departments and find specific application materials needed in order to apply. Additionally, keep your eyes peeled for emails about work-study job fairs. You even have the option of visiting the department directly and asking if they have positions available. 

Some jobs require a minimum amount of related work experience ranging from 3 months to a year. Even if you do not have the experience, apply anyway. Your volunteer work or extracurricular activities can count as experience too. 

Apart from being a great way to earn money while going to school, the additional perk is that work-study employers are more inclined to work around your class schedule and sometimes extracurricular activities schedule as well. 

Keep in mind that work-study allows part-time hours only. In addition, you will have to at least be a part-time student (usually minimum six credits) at all times in order to remain eligible. Work-study is not exclusive to jobs on campus. You can do work-study with a partnered organization outside of school as well.

The Federal Work-Study program is an inclusive program designed to assist students of various backgrounds with tuition assistance and beyond. As a work-study student you have the opportunity to become more connected to your institution through the knowledge you will gain. Work-study positions are open all year-round so keep looking and apply. 

Broward College students visit: for more information on applying for work-study jobs.

Photo: Work study students, Alex Rios and Natalie Ortega, work in the Social and Behavioral Sciences Department. Stephanie Sylvester/The Observer