Work Study is a terrific way to get another source of financial aid while you attend school.  It gives students the chance to make some extra cash (Though it won't make you rich--Usually expect about minimum wage), all the while giving both experience in a professional environment and teaching responsibility.  Some students are even lucky enough to find a position related to their field of study.

So, inevitably, many will wonder what types of work study jobs are available for those wishing to take advantage of this financial aid system.  You also could be curious as to how to find such jobs.  Each will be discussed here.

Where Do I Find Work Study Jobs?

Your first stop should be the financial aid office at your college or university.  If you cannot apply for a position directly in-office, there may well be a bulletin board nearby with various jobs posted or a specific website to visit which details each position and required qualifications.

What Can I Expect to Find?

Work Study positions vary widely and provide students with all sorts of different learning opportunities.  A relatively common option is clerical work in a university office, i.e. financial aid, registrar or academic department.  This would generally involve filing, answering phones and sending out office correspondence.  Manual labor jobs are also available, with students assisting the grounds crew with landscaping or helping the maintenence department with dormitory cleaning, i.e. vacuuming common areas and cleaning windows. 

Can I See Some Specific Examples?

Yes.  Feel free to take a look at the following list to see types of field-oriented positions that particular schools offer.

  • Columbia University: Media Services Assistant for the Earth Institute.  Suitable for a writing or communications major, this work study position at Columbia would provide hands-on field-related experience in writing.  The position specifies that applicants should be well-versed in social media and will be tasked with helping to improve the department's presence on such platforms as Twitter and the department's blog.
  • University of Pittsburgh: Research Assistant for the Katz Graduate School of Business.  Business majors and those interested in research in general have the opportunity to participate in a job involving surveys.  The position specifies that the successful candidate will be responsible for collecting data via surveys and analyzing it.  Such a position would help the student to put business theory into practice.
  • Northwestern University: Laboratory Aide for Chemistry Department.  Those involved in the sciences may get their hands dirty while helping the chemistry department in implementing safety practices as a Laboratory Aide.  Duties for such a position would include clerical work for the department, receiving and sorting incoming lab materials, and lab/chemical cleanup.

Always consider your options carefully.  Try to find a position that is both educationally beneficial and one that you feel you would enjoy, as you will gain the most from it that way.  However, don't be a slouch when it comes to applying, as work study jobs go quickly due to high demand.  Perhaps even get in touch with someone who has held positions similar to those you're considering if possible.  This can give a better idea of job demands and expectations.  And always know that Go Financial Aid has the solutions to any financial aid questions you may have!

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