Questions and Answers - College Work-Study Programs
What is college work-study?
College work-study is a student assistance program that provides part-time employment for students. The earnings can be used to help pay educational expenses. Both on-campus and off-campus positions are available. Off-campus positions must be in areas of community service, and include the America Reads program, a reading tutor position in local elementary schools.
How do I apply?
To be considered for work-study, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) for the current award year. The information submitted on the FAFSA is analyzed to determine whether you are eligible for work-study.
- To complete the FAFSA, visit: www.fafsa.gov.
- Answer “YES” to the question #31, which asks if you are interested in work-study.
- Submit all requested documents to the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.
- Once the Financial Aid Office has determined your eligibility, a postcard will be sent to you informing you of your award offer on your myInfo account.
- Follow the instructions on the card to accept your work-study award.
What if my award letter does not include a work-study award?
If you are not awarded work-study, there could be several reasons:
- You did not request work-study on the FAFSA;
- You are ineligible for work-study funds;
- We have exhausted our work-study funds and have no work-study money to award to students. In this case, you may ask to be put on a waiting list in case more funds become available.
- TIP: Filing your FAFSA before March 1 will afford you the best opportunity to be considered for work-study funds.
Does work-study mean I get paid to study while I work?
No, work-study means you have an opportunity to work and earn money to help with your school expenses.
If I earn all of the work-study money I was awarded, can I request more?
Yes, provided there is remaining work-study funds and you are eligible for additional funds.
What are the advantages of having a work-study job?
Work-study jobs give you both experience and references, which you can list on your resume. It also provides valuable professional contacts and networking opportunities in your chosen field.
What are the steps for finding a work-study job?
- Accept your work-study award online.
- Apply for jobs online: www.msubillings.edu/careers/; select ‘Career Link’ (located on the right).
- Provide information to your employer:
- On-Campus Employers will contact you to request that you verify your work-study eligibility and awards.
- To find this information follow the instructions below:
- Visit the MSUB home page: www.msubillings.edu.
- Select myInfo Login (lower, right hand corner of the webpage).
- Select ‘Enter Secure Area.’
- Choose the Financial Aid tab and select “My Award Information.”
- Select “My Award Letter” and then choose the correct aid year.
- From there you can view your award letter, which will specify:
- The type of work-study (Federal, State, or Institutional);
- The amount you can potentially earn;
- Whether the award is for the full academic year (fall & spring), or only for a single semester.
- Take this form to your off-campus employer to fill out the “Employer Information” section.
- After that section is completed, return the form to the Financial Aid Office.
- Provide two original forms of identification to the HR Office.
- If you have any questions about this, please ask the Human Resources Office personnel for information on acceptable forms of identification.
- This must be done before you can begin working.
- Develop a schedule with your employer that allows you to maintain a healthy balance between work and school.
- Work-study students must be enrolled in at least 6 credits/semester and cannot work more than 20 hours/week when school is in session. The only exception to these rules is during the summer semester, to get more information on this visit the Summer Session Financial Aid page or contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships
How do I get paid?
- If you are working with an on-campus work-study employer, complete and submit your timesheets every two weeks on your myInfo account.
- If you are working with an off-campus work-study employer, turn in a complete timesheet including your signature, supervisor’s signature, department, and index code.
- Timesheets must be in the Payroll office by 5:00 PM on the Monday following the Friday payday. If you are unable to access the electronic time sheet or have questions about getting paid, contact Financial Services/Payroll at 406-657-2131.
- Money you earn from a work-study job will not be applied to your semester bill. Instead, you will get paid every two weeks and can use the money to cover personal expenses (gas, toiletries, etc.)
- If you have not received payment for time worked, contact your employer immediately.
How much does a work-study job pay?
- The work-study hourly pay range is between the current Montana minimum wage and a maximum of $10.00/hour.
- The exact amount depends on your duties and level of responsibility.
Can I lose my work-study part or all of my work-study award?
Yes, your work-study award may change or even have to be eliminated.
If you receive additional funding, such as a scholarship or grant, your work-study award may have to be reduced, or even eliminated altogether. (Financial Aid Office will notify you when this occurs and provide an explanation.)
Failure to meet the Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) requirements will result in the loss of financial aid eligibility, including work-study. Please read the guidelines regarding these requirements online at www.msubillings.edu/finaid/SAP.htm.
It is your responsibility to inform your supervisor(s) if your work-study award changes, or if you lose your work-study funding.
Can I work more than one work-study job?
Yes, you can. Just be sure that a new job has been set up for you by your employer if you are working on-campus, or another work-study authorization form has been submitted if you are working off-campus; and that you inform your supervisors that you are working in different areas.
Can I quit my work-study job?
Yes, but be sure to notify your supervisor and the Work-Study Coordinator in the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships.
Please contact the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships if you have any additional questions.