Oakland Community College
Resources & Scholarships


General Information about Work-Study

A basic premise governing need-based financial aid programs is that families have the primary responsibility to pay for college costs. Part of this expectation is that students, to the extent that they are able, should help pay for their college expenses. Work-Study, during the academic year and over the summers, can make an important contribution to available financial resources.

Work-Study provides job for students with financial need allowing them an opportunity to earn money to help pay educational expenses.  There is a federal and a state work-study program. The Work-Study Program encourages community service and work related to course of study.

Many families assume that it is unwise for students to work during the academic year. However, compared to students who do not work, studies show that students who work a modest number of hours per week—no more than twenty—will, on average:

  • have higher grade point averages,
  • graduate at a faster rate,
  • be less likely to drop out, and
  • they will also have important job skills to include on their resumes.

Why? Some possible explanations are:

  • Working students become better organized and manage their time better.
  • Employment exposes students to more mentor-type relationships and increases interactions with "real world" people.
  • Employment provides financial resources that may be critical to meeting college costs.

If You Were Awarded Work-Study

This award is a part of your financial aid package. This award offers you an opportunity to work on campus or off campus in a community service organization or agency to earn money for your college expenses. 

  • Whether on the work-study or the student assistant program, OCC considers a student worker a part-time employee who must be enrolled for at least six credit hours and regularly attending classes at OCC.
  • The student's primary purpose for being at OCC must be to further his/her education. Student employment is viewed as temporary and secondary to the pursuit of an education.
  • Normally, student employees may not work more than 20 hours per week during the semester.
  • Student's positions are limited and are given to students on a first-come, first served basis.
  • Any student who drops below half-time must stop working and be terminated from employment immediately.
  • Anticipated work-study earnings cannot be used toward payment of classes during registration periods.
  • Student employees:
    • cannot be scheduled to work during the time of their scheduled classes.
    • are expected to report to work at the assigned time.
    • are expected to contact the supervisor if they want to quit working or cannot report to work at the assigned time.
    • must complete their paperwork on time to receive their paycheck on time.
    • are paid bi-weekly.
    • need to know that if they receive additional resources, it may be necessary to adjust or cancel their work-study award.
  • Minimum rate of pay is $8 per hour.

The chart below shows the resources that working a modest number of hours can provide during the academic year (approximately 30 weeks). The rate of pay is based on the current average hourly rate at the college for work study employment positions.

Hours per Week at $8/hour Salary Potential
12 Hours............................................
15 Hours............................................
20 Hours............................................

How to Become an On-Campus Work-Study Student

Work-Study Opportunities

Work-Study offers the opportunity to earn funds from part-time work performed for employers who qualify for the Work-Study financial aid program under federal or state guidelines. Students receiving this financial aid award qualify to interview for and obtain Work-Study jobs listed with the Placement Services and Cooperative Education Office. Work-Study is awarded to those students with the greatest financial need when they apply for financial aid. Work-Study students are some of the most highly sought after employees, on- and off-campus, because federal or state funding covers 75% of the wage rate, while the employer (college departments, or an off-campus non-profit organization) pays only 25%. Community service positions, Temporary or Part-Time Jobs on- or off-Campus may be available.


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