College is expensive. With tuition, meal plans and the absurdly expensive textbooks, college can do major damage to your wallets. While you can take out loans to afford college, sometimes there are other routes to pay for your tuition, including work study. 

Once you fill out your FAFSA application, you are told if you are eligible for a work study job and how much of it are you allowed to earn. Some benefits of federal work study include the following.

1. You can adjust your work schedule to your school schedule and your employers understand that school is your top priority.

2. You get to build your resume as well as gain experience that you may need later on for other job applications.

3. It does not count as income. What does this mean? When you fill out FAFSA for the next school year, it won't play a factor as to how much financial aid you get. 

4. Depending on your school, your money goes directly to you and not your school. You are fully in charge of deciding how to use the money, whether it be for textbooks, your meal plan or anything else that you need.

Federal work study jobs can not only aid college students in paying for their college expenses, but also allow them to grow as a student and person. To find a work study job that is perfect for you, follow these steps:

1. Fill out FAFSA!

While this one is a given, it is important you fill out an application because, if you don't, you won't be eligible for federal work study. For the 2017-2018 school year, the application opens up October 1st, 2016 instead of January 1st, 2017. Check out their website for more information on FAFSA.

Federal Student Aid

2. Reach out to your school's office of employment.

Through this, you'll be able to see the jobs offered at your school and how flexible they are. Also, reaching out to them will allow you to understand the application process better before you even fill out an application and get interviewed!


3. Attend the job fairs at your school.

By attending the job fairs, you'll be able to interact with students who have experience in each type of job as well as meet your potential employers. Make sure to dress professionally because you get one shot at first impressions. 

4. Sit down and consider your options.

While it might be tempting to apply to the job with the highest salary, think it through. Try to find jobs that pertain to your major or interests so you actually enjoy going to work. College is a place where your goal is to prepare yourself for your future career so make sure to take every step possible to make sure you are fully prepared.


5. Perfect your resume.

Many job applications require some variation of a resume and it is crucial that your resume covers all of your experiences but is straight to the point. This article by Mia Renee Cole goes into depth of how to make sure your resume is perfect. 

6. Fill out your application and do it in advance.

While this is a given, it is important you fill out your application long before the deadline. By completing it earlier, you are allowing space for unexpected requirements. Maybe your application requires your transcript but it takes five days for your transcript to be processed. You don't want to find out that the night before so be responsible and do your application in advance.


7. Be yourself at the interview.

It's OK to be nervous, but don't let it consume you! The interview process is very important in ensuring the job is yours so just be yourself. Dress nicely, do your research about the job beforehand and be true to yourself. 


8. Write a thank you email after your interview.

By sending an email expressing your gratitude for the interviewer's time, you'll not only be a good human but you will show the employers that you really want this job and you will work hard for it. A simple thank you goes a long way.


9. Breathe!

The job application process can be nerve-wracking; however, you did your absolute best. You've done everything you can so just wait until you hear back! 


Following these steps won't guarantee you a job but it will allow you to be closer to getting one. If you don't get the job, it's okay to be upset at first but get back up and find another route. College is all about acceptances and rejections so don't let it define you. Best of luck!

Lead Image Credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr Creative Commons