By Chelsea Davis, Contributing Writer
Full-time students who qualify for federal financial aid by filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) may also qualify for federal work study (FWS), which allows students to get a job on campus while also being able to prioritize classes and coursework.
Work study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate students with financial need and allows students to earn money to help pay education expenses. This program encourages community service work and work related to the student’s course of study. “For FWS specifically, the student would have the award as part of their financial aid package since FWS is a need-based financial award contingent on FAFSA information,” said Joseph Toner, Assistant Director of Financial Aid at UMF. “However, having FWS is not a prerequisite to working on campus as students can be hired within the work initiative program or within a department-funded position.”
UMF has a wide variety of work study jobs on campus open only to students who qualify for FWS. “We have students working in just about every department on campus, from admissions, to athletics, to the library,” said Toner. “Our student workers literally make our campus go.”
Troy Johnson, an employee at the Fitness and Recreational Center (FRC), has had a positive experience working as a part of FWS. “I like working in the gym atmosphere,” Johnson said. “I have made new connections working with other students on campus. I would highly recommend federal work study for students in need of a little extra money to help pay off education expenses.”
The level of commitment that is expected for student employment jobs are just like any job. Supervisors will expect student workers to show up on time, perform quality work, and follow instruction. “As long as you follow what is asked of you and you get everything done on time it is a super easy job and a great experience too,” said Elena Guarino, who works in the library through FWS.
Because FWS is part of the student’s financial aid package and the job is also on campus, students working FWS positions are able to easily prioritize their classes and coursework while also doing their FWS job. “Some things that I do at my job consist of cleaning equipment, checking students in, and I can also work on homework,” Johnson said.
With a full-time courseload, Johnson is able to work up to four hours a day three days a week. “Typically these work study jobs have flexible schedules,” said Johnson.
Utilizing work study is beneficial because working on campus allows students to gain real-life work experience that can help students learn interpersonal communication skills and time management while also earning money to help pay for some of the costs associated with attending college. “Employers love to see student work on a resume,” said Toner. “It shows that the student gained valuable experience while in college, even if the work now is not directly related to your plans for a post-UMF career.”
To locate the FWS job list and learn about FWS, work initiative, and on-campus jobs, students can email firstname.lastname@example.org or log into the MyCampus Portal, go to the Student Services pull-down menu, and select Financial Services. Work study positions will start opening up at the end of the spring. Once students find a job on campus they would like to pursue, it is important to reach out to the supervisor of that certain work position, it is best to reach out through email.