Finding a Work-study Job

I cannot believe fall is here. Where did the summer go? And all those college kids who couldn’t find a summer job are heading back to school short of funds. Well, if you are headed back to college, and your financial aid package includes work-study hours, you just may be able to find a school year job if you are creative.

What you need to know:

Work-study programs may be run by one of several departments at your college: Financial Aid, Student Services, Career Services or even Employment Services. Check all of these areas for listed work-study jobs.

Don’t just search the work-study listings. Find out how the work-study process plays out at your school and approach other departments for a job. There are other jobs out there besides the dining hall or library. Check with the computer and science labs, residence hall departments, Student Services, communications or fundraising. Search the campus directory for offices where you may find a job.

Not all work-study jobs are limited to campus. Some colleges have programs that partially fund off-campus work, especially in the public service sector. For example, the Cornell Tradition program started in 1982 while I was at school there. The program funded 2 years of work for me at the Ithaca Youth Bureau, and the program is still going strong. Ask at Financial Aid or Student Services if your college has a program like this.

Sign up to work events. Some colleges need people to work catering events as servers or plays and concerts as ushers and ticket takers. Other events may include charity fundraisers such as car shows or golf tournaments where extra personnel are needed.

Get to know the rush periods for different offices on campus. For example, Career Services always needs extra hands before and during career fairs. Financial Aid can use helping hands at the beginning of the year and when financial aid packages go out. The bookstore may need extra cashiers and runners at the beginning of each semester.

Get your financial aid and work-study paperwork in on time to make sure you get paid on a regular basis. Pay attention to deadlines and do not just rely on your work-study supervisor to do it all for you. There’s a lot happening on your campus this year, and the details may get lost in the shuffle.



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