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Work Study

Many students are confused by the term “work study”. Work study is not a loan, it is not a grant, and it is not given to the student all at once. In fact, the Federal work study program refers specifically to an employer's ability to subsidize a student's wage.

What is work study?

Benefits for Student and Employer. The Federal work study program is a federally funded program created to promote greater access to employment. A student’s eligibility for the program is based on financial need, and determined by the Financial Aid Office. At Grand Valley, the Federal Government pays 70% of the student's wages, making it easier for a student to find the right job.  The employer covers the remainder of the student's wages and all fringe costs associated with the position.

Eligibility for Federal work study does not mean that a student will automatically receive the dollar amount listed on his or her financial aid award letter. A student must find a job and will receive their work study award in biweekly paychecks based on hourly wage and hours worked per week. Students are eligible to earn up to the amount listed in their financial aid award letters during the academic year.  Students' earnings are NOT applied to their bill as a credit.

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Do I already have a job on campus?

The Job Search. A work study job is not assigned directly for you. You will have to go through the process: search LakerJobs, apply, interview, and then be selected for a position. Although you are not placed in a position, work study gives you an advantage over students who do not have a work study award. This is because the federal government pays a portion of all your work study wages.

**Remember that you can apply to any job on-campus.

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How do I get paid?

Pay goes to the student. Once you have obtained a job and begin working you will receive a paycheck every other week and are responsible for using the money for educational expenses. Your earnings are NOT applied to your student bill as a credit. You can use your earnings towards expenses such as: books, housing, food, going home during breaks, laundry, etc.

You can select to have your paycheck be direct deposited into a financial institution account of your choice. If you do not setup direct deposit a paper check will be available for pick up at the Student Transaction Windows located in the Student Service Building in Allendale or Richard M. DeVos Building C in Grand Rapids. Checks are never mailed out.

To see the exact pay dates look at the Payroll Calendar.

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I have exhausted my work study award, what do I do now?

Talk to your supervisor about their policy. Work study students can continue working after exhausting their work study award amount for the aid period. The employer will be responsible for paying 100% of the student's earnings. These additional earnings will not jeopardize the student's current financial aid package. However, the student and supervisor should discuss the employing department's policy. Some on campus employers cannot continue a position once the student's work study award has been exhausted.

If a student is working hours which will obviously earn more than their award allows, they should review their schedule with their supervisor.

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I am ready to find a job, what are my next steps?

Start looking on LakerJobs. Log into LakerJobs and search the various opportunities available! Remember that as a work study student you can apply for ANY on campus job whether it is listed as work study or regular.

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