Front Range Community College Blog

Top 5 Myths About Work Study

Work Study gives me a chance to earn a pay check while I’m in school.

TRUE! Work study provides the opportunity to earn a portion of your financial aid assistance by working part-time, either on-campus or with participating community-based partners off-campus. Students can work a maximum of 20 hours per week when classes are in session and are paid on a bi-weekly basis. Learn more about the work study program at FRCC.

“Work Study” means I get paid to do my homework.

FALSE! Being employed in a work study position (or any student employment position) does not mean you’ll be paid to do your homework while “on the clock.” The purpose of the Federal Work Study program (FWS), according to the Department of Education, is as follows: “The FWS Program provides funds for part-time employment to help needy students to finance the costs of postsecondary education. […] A student’s FWS compensation is earned when the student performs the work.”

I was awarded work study last year, so I will automatically get it every year.

FALSE! Since work study funding is a very limited pool of funds each year, it is awarded on a first come-first served basis. This means that you’ll want to make sure you submit your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and any documents that the Financial Aid Office may be requesting as soon as possible! Any delay in submitting requested documents could slow your entire financial aid award, including any work study funds you may be eligible to earn.

Work study money is applied to my bill, just like my grants and loans.

FALSE! Your work study award will be the maximum amount you could potentially earn over the course of the award period, but you’ll need to submit timesheets and be paid for the hours you’ve actually worked. You’ll receive a paycheck every two weeks, just like with any other job.

Work study earnings are not taxable.

FALSE! Just like any other job, earnings through the work study program are subject to state and Federal income tax regulations. If you have questions about your specific filing status, please contact the Human Resources office on your campus.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elizabeth Romba

has been helping students and supervisors navigate the wonderful world of work study since October 2014, and has been part of the FRCC community since 2008. In her spare time, she enjoys spending lots of time with her crazy miniature schnauzer and venturing out on road trips whenever possible.