Federal Work Study Program

Get Involved and Earn Money Toward Your College Education!
Sonoma State University offers its students opportunities to participate in Federal Work-Study through JUMP’s Tutoring and Mentoring programs.

How to get involved with Federal Work-Study through JUMP:

  1. Talk to financial aid to find out if you qualify for Federal Work-Study
  2. Come to the JUMP Office and talk to a JUMP Staff member to find out what programs work for you and your schedule
  3. Email the Student Leader of the program you’re interested in and sign up for an interview
  4. Meet with JUMP staff and review New Federal Work-Study forms
  5. Sign up for and attend a new Student Employee Orientation in Human Services on the second floor of Salazar Hall (visit the Employee Services website for more info)
  6. Start volunteering with JUMP and earn money to go towards your education!

Current Work-Study Students: Get your payroll voucher here

History of Federal Work Study (from the Campus Compact Website)

1. The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 (August 20, 1964), whose goal was “to mobilize the human and financial resources of the Nation to combat poverty in the United States,” contained a section on a new program for Work-Study. This Act created the Jobs Corps, whose purpose was to “prepare for the responsibility of citizenship and to increase the employability of young men and young women aged sixteen through twenty-one by providing them in rural and urban residential centers with education, vocational training, useful work experience, including work directed toward the conservation of natural resources, and other appropriate activities.” The Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 included a section on Work-Study programs, whose goal was to “stimulate and promote the part-time employment of students in institutions of higher education who are from low-income families and are in need of the earnings from such employment to pursue courses of study at such institutions.”

2. The Higher Education Act of 1965 transferred the Work-Study program from the Department of Labor to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and its purpose was restated as “to stimulate and promote the part-time employment of students, particularly students from low-income families, in institutions of higher education who are in need of the earnings from such employment to pursue courses of study at such institutions.” The work was to be “for the institution itself or work in the public interest for a public or private nonprofit organization.” The Act of 1965 also states that “in the selection of students for employment under such Work-Study program, preference shall be given to students from low-income families…” In a revision of the statement of purpose of the Work-Study program in 1972, the language was changed to “students with great financial need.”

3. The revision in 1972 to the Higher Education Act of 1965 also included a new section entitled Work-Study for Community Service Learning Program. The purpose of this section was “to enable students in eligible institutions who are in need of additional financial support to attend institutions of higher education, with preference given to veterans who served in the Armed Forces in Indochina or Korea after August 5, 1964, to obtain earnings from employment which offers the maximum potential both for effective service to the community and for enhancement of the educational development of such students.” Community service was defined as including, but not limited to, “work in such fields as environmental quality, health care, education, welfare, public safety, crime prevention and control, transportation, recreation, housing and neighborhood improvement, rural development, conservation, beautification, and other fields of human betterment and community improvement.”

4. The Higher Education Amendments of 1992 made substantial changes to the work-study section of the Higher Education Act of 1965. A 5% mandate for community service work was instituted. Beginning in fiscal year 1994, institutions receiving federal Work-Study funds were required to use “at least 5% of the total amount of funds granted to such institution under this section in any fiscal year to compensate students employed in community service.” Language was added to the statement of purpose of Work-Study: “to encourage students receiving Federal student financial assistance to participate in community service activities that will benefit the Nation and engender in the students a sense of social responsibility and commitment to the community.” The definition of community service expanded to include “services which are identified by an institution of higher education, through formal or informal consultation with local nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations, as designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs.

The Higher Education Act:

  • Clarifies that part-time employment under Federal Work-Study may include internships.
  • Allows campus jobs providing child care or services to students with disabilities to qualify under the community service requirement.
  • Requires colleges receiving the funds to support at least one project that compensates FWS students who are employed as reading tutors for preschool and elementary school children or who work in a family literacy project as part of the community service requirement.
  • Expands community service opportunities by allowing FWS funds to be used to compensate students employed in community service for time spent on traveling or in training directly related to the community service position.
  • Eliminates a requirement that colleges award a specific proportion of FWS awards to part-time students and to students who are financially independent of their parents, indicating instead that administrators should provide “a reasonable share” of awards to those students.