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Work Study

One of the ways you can make your education more affordable is to see if you qualify for Federal Work Study. A form of financial aid, work study is great because you get to earn money on campus while attending college.

Three reasons why Federal Work Study is the way to earn money:

  1. Work hours are typically scheduled conveniently around your classes
  2. Money earned does not hurt your financial aid eligibility next year
  3. You get to meet and know more people from campus

Unlike many jobs off campus, Federal Work Study work hours are typically scheduled around your classes instead of making you fit your course schedule around work. This makes school a number one priority rather than number two.

Also, because this is a type of financial aid, every dollar earned in Federal Work Study is exempted from the financial aid calculation the following year. This allows you to earn more without jeopardizing your future aid.

And, it's cool to be on campus. You see your friends, meet more people, get to know professors and really connect with the university culture.

If working up to 20 hours per week would be a great experience, check it out. Federal Work Study may well be the right move for you.

Federal Work Study is need-based aid and is awarded to students who indicate that they want these funds on the Student Data Form. Federal Work Study is awarded after all other resources are considered including SEOG.

Federal Work Study FAQs

The program provides undergraduate and graduate students with the part-time employment to help meet their financial needs and give them work experience, while helping the campus or surrounding community. The students might work in their university’s library, cafeteria, laboratories, or other needed offices and areas of campus.

No. All students seeking employment are expected to find a job of their own. The Human Resources office posts current student job openings regularly on the Handshake application. You can locate the Handshake application by logging into your GoSWOSU and selecting ‘Handshake.' You must apply for positions individually. Selection is made by the respective departments you have submitted applications to.

Twenty (20) hours per week are the maximum recommended for academic reasons as well as tax reasons. If you work 20 or more hours per week (among all your campus jobs) FICA (Social Security) will be deducted from your wages. Most work-study awards allow for between 10-20 hours per week. Keep in mind that you should not have your work schedule when you are scheduled to be in-class, even if the class is cancelled that day for whatever reason.

Yes, you can, but it is expected that you should give your current employers at least two weeks’ notice. If you wish to change jobs, visit the Human Resources office to review job openings and obtain the necessary paperwork.

Work-study earnings are taxable income. If taxes were withheld from your paycheck, you may be eligible for a refund depending on your total annual earnings. It is in your best interest to file a tax return with the Internal Revenue by April 15th. SWOSU W-2’s can be retrieved online thru your Self-Service.

No, you must apply separately for summer work-study. You cannot carry over any unused earnings to the summer term. You can complete the Summer Request for Aid form by logging into your GoSWOSU and selecting the ‘Etrieve’ application. Once Student Financial Services receives your request, your summer eligibility will be calculated. The summer work-study program is contingent upon finding availability. If you are enrolled for at least three (3) credit hours during the Summer and you complete the ‘Summer Request for Aid’ online, you may be eligible for summer work-study.

Your department should notify you when you reach your award maximum. The department has the option to either continue your assignment and paying you 100% from their departmental budget -or- ending your assignment altogether. Most departments will make every attempt to keep you working with them, butt you must be a good employee.

America Reads/Counts                

Terrific Federal Work Study Opportunity

Federal Community Service continues to expand at SWOSU. "America Reads" is a program promoted by the federal government to use university Federal Work Study (FWS) students as reading tutors to help children improve reading skills.

The goal of the program is to get children to read well by the third grade. One element of the program is measurement of levels of literacy according to students' grade levels.

If you are interested and have been awarded financial aid including Federal Work Study, check with Student Financial Services in Room 224, Stafford Building, about information on participating in the America Reads Program.

Federal Work Study student tutors receive paid training. Prior tutorial experience is not required. It is, however, very important that the reading tutors have adequate reading skills. Every effort is made to work around the students' class schedules when assigning tutoring matches.

Federal Work Study &The America Reads/Counts Challenge

The U.S. Department of Education encourages Federal Work Study students to serve as reading tutors by waiving the requirement that employers pay part of their wages.

Generally, the employer pays at least 25 percent of the student's wages, and the work study program pays the rest. Under the America Reads/Counts waiver, the federal government pays 100 percent of the wages of work study students who serve as reading mentors or tutors to preschool and elementary school children.

The wages of these tutors can be credited toward the institution’s requirement that 7 percent of work study funds be used for community service.

Research shows that children, whose parents work with them on language and literacy skills during early childhood, become more successful readers. As the parent is a child's first teacher, the America Reads waiver was extended to include students who tutor in family literacy programs. These programs provide services to children from infancy through elementary school and their parents or caregivers.

Southwestern Oklahoma State University provides training through the local school district. Ongoing during the year, ideas are shared with tutors for new ways to interact with the children and how to succeed in the ultimate goal of helping them progress in skill competence.

The federal government expanded the Federal Work Study Waiver to include mathematics tutoring. The federal government pays 100 percent of the wages of work study students who serve as mathematics tutors to first- through fifth-grade school children. This waiver enables college students who have an affinity for mathematics and science to gain valuable work experience as tutors while taking an active role in improving student achievement in mathematics.

One means of helping students improve their mathematics achievement is to provide them with personal attention and additional learning opportunities through tutoring and mentoring. Caring and dedicated adults can make a difference in young people's lives by helping them build a strong mathematical foundation that will leave the doors of opportunity wide open.

The success and sustainability of math tutoring programs depends on the active involvement of many people. Those with an interest in this effort can, for example, serve as tutors or mentors, help with program coordination, or provide content or pedagogic guidance as appropriate to their expertise. Get involved today - you can make a difference!

For information contact Carol Wichert, program coordinator, 580.774.3707 located in Room 224 of the Gen. Thomas P. Stafford Center or visit the USDE website.