Part-time student eligibility for employment determined by work-study status

Part-time students are only able to work on-campus jobs if they approved for work-study from F.A.F.S.A.


Austin Patterson, The Exponent

Part-time students, meaning those under 12 credit hours per semester, are largely ineligible for on-campus employment, unless they are granted work-study by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid.   

Debra Brousek, a payroll administrator for student employment, said the policy was put in place years ago to give more financial help to students who enroll full-time due to the added costs that part-time students don’t have.  

“In a nutshell, the reasoning that that’s been passed down is because the cost of attendance for a full-time student is much greater than it is for a part-time student,” Brousek said. “So, because we have more students looking for work than jobs [available], they wanted it to go to the students that needed it the most.”  

Regardless of enrollment status, those granted work-study are given priority for on-campus employment. Part-time students with work-study are also given this same priority each semester.   

Full-time students without work-study must wait for four weeks into each semester until they can be hired into most on-campus jobs. Those students who are already hired in previous semesters are eligible to work from the start if their hired status carries over between semesters.  

Brousek also said that, often, part-time students secure employment off-campus, eliminating a large part of the need for on-campus jobs for part-time students.  

“I don’t see many part-time students looking for jobs on-campus because they usually get a job off campus that fits their lifestyle better,” Brousek said.   

On-campus employment is mainly available to provide assistance to students who have the most financial burdens and are struggling to pay for their college education.  

“From what I understand from when I started this job, is that it was mostly due to help the students that needed the most help and that tends to be the full-time students because they are paying a lot more to go to school than a part-time student would be,” Brousek said.   

Federal work-study is determined by parents’ and students’ income in the F.A.F.S.A. form released each year.   

Students who meet the thresholds for work-study are granted a set amount of money they can earn that allows them to work to provide tuition assistance. Students can either use their work-study salary for personal expenses or tuition depending on whichever they most need.  

The F.A.F.S.A. application opens every year on Oct. 1. Students must renew their F.A.F.S.A. forms each year to continue receiving aid, including federal work-study, from the federal government.