Federal work-study is a program that offers students flexible part-time jobs (usually on-campus) to help pay for college costs. When you complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), you will be asked if you are interested in participating in work-study. Students often have questions about the work-study program, so we decided to ask our own StepUp to Higher Education work-study employees – Marcella and Max – about their experience.

Work-study jobs are offered for many different fields, including applied science.

What advice would you give to students about federal work-study?


Maxwell: It is great to gain some work experience in college that will prepare you for the workforce after graduation. The best way to gain these experiences is through a work-study job because it is flexible with your classes.

How do you land the federal work-study job?  It’s simple! First, when filing the FAFSA, just check “yes” on the question asking you if you’re interested in work-study and be sure to list the college you will be attending. If you qualify, your college will inform you and you can use their website to search for and apply to work-study jobs.


Marcella: Work-study will give you the chance to decompress. It will also allow you to enjoy your life while you are in school without panic rushing from work to school and back again. When you are filling out the FAFSA, check “yes” on the box confirming if you are interested in work-study. Even if you do not plan on it, it is a great backup option.


This interview is part 3 of our 4-part #WhyWorkStudy series. Visit stepuputah.com to read the whole series.


University of Utah student and StepUp federal work-study employee, Maxwell Ayeliya


University of Utah student and StepUp federal work-study employee, Marcella Sweet