What is federal work study and how does it differ from other types of employers?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 15,301
    Financial advisor Brad Barnett discusses what a federal work study is and how it differs from other types of employers.

    Brad Barnett

    Brad received his Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Arkansas University, with a major in Psychology and a minor in Business.  He furthered his education by graduating from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University with a Master of Science degree in Rehabilitation Counseling, specializing in Mental Health.  He has been involved in the financial aid and/or rehabilitation professions for the past 15 years. Brad, a Past President of the Virginia Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (VASFAA), currently serves as the Senior Associate Director of Financial Aid & Scholarships for James Madison University.  Immediately prior to JMU, he served as an Assistant Director of the Financial Aid Office at Virginia Commonwealth University.  Brad has presented numerous sessions at state, regional, and national conferences, and has served on a variety of association committees.  In addition to speaking at professional conferences, Brad has conducted an abundance of workshops and presentations in non-conference environments, including teaching a credit based financial literacy course at JMU entitled “Dollars and Sense.”  Many of the topics Brad’s speaks on include communication, leadership, values, financial aid policies and procedures, financial literacy, and saving for college.  He has also facilitated strategic planning and value development retreats.

    Host: What is Federal Work Study and how does it differ from other types of employers?

    Brad Barnett: Federal Work Study is a great Financial Aid Program. It s also misunderstood. It s not paid stuffy time, it is a part time job, so you do have to work for it. But, there is a couple of benefits to Federal Work Study, over a regular part time job. One is, it s a federal program, so, keep in mind, you have to do the free application for federal student aid, you see, if you qualify. But as being a federal program, what that means, your employer is the Federal government is actually paying part of your wages. So, it's very attractive to an employer to have federal work study.

    The main benefit for you is when you file for financial aid, in your next year, if you go back to the FAFSA to think about it, you have to list your incoming earnings from the prior year, work study or taxable earnings. So, if you file taxes, you do have to put the amount there. But when you file financial aid, work study earnings are not looked at as income, when your financial aid office reviews you for eligibility in your next year of school. So, it's a good way to earn some money this year and have us look at less money next year.