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Work-Study 101

Updated: Jan 2

By Shanieya Harris

Being employed through Barry’s work- study program gives students the opportunity to develop skills, structure, and workplace competencies to better prepare them for an entrance into the workforce and lifelong career management. These skills include career and self-development, leadership, critical thinking, professionalism, teamwork, and more.

Barry students who are eligible get the opportunity to develop these skills by working in the federal work-study program, according to Ana Maria Rodriguez, the senior human resources partner for the program.

What is federal work-study?

The work-study program is federally funded for students to work while they go to school, according to Rodriguez. Students work part-time while taking classes.

Who is eligible for work-study?

Students who are eligible for work- study will see it reflected on their financial aid package as an award. This award will demonstrate how much money the student can make in total per semester. International students are not eligible for the work-study program.

How do students apply for work-study?

Students must indicate on their FAFSA application that they would like to be considered for work-study. Once approved, students can apply for positions on Workday. Workday is a student portal for filing applications and submitting resumes, among other things.

After applying, students will be offered an on-campus position based on their interests and major.

How much do students get paid?

Rodriguez understands that this is the most important question for most students. “Most positions pay ten dollars an hour,” said Rodriguez. “Students who demonstrate improvement and increase in skills will gain a fifty-cent increase each year that they remain in position.”

For example, a student who starts as a freshman could make about $12 per hour by senior year.

In addition, unlike loans, grants, or scholarships, the funds are not applied to students’ accounts. Work-study funds are paid directly to the student for hours worked.

How flexible are the hours?

“It is a federal regulation that work-study positions work around the students school schedule,” said Rodriguez. “Especially in times of midterms and finals most positions will allow students time to study.”

Can you have more than one position?

Students can only obtain one federal work- study position.

There are other positions on campus that students may have alongside their work-study position, such as being a CCSI fellow or a graduate assistant.

Does experience matter? Can you work at entry-level?

According to Rodriguez, 99 percent of positions are entry-level. While there are some positions that require experience, managers know that some students may not have much job experience before college.

Work-study positions are meant to help students gain this experience and become confident for their future. It can be a great way to build a healthy network and add work experience to your resume.

From the Source: Testimonials from Work- Study Students

Katriel Register working in the garden. Photo Credit to Jimmy Muniz Jr.

Katriel Register is a work-study student for The Center for Community Service Initiatives (CCSI). CCSI is Barry’s clearing house for community engagement information and opportunities such as gardening and costal cleanups. There are many different areas within CCSI, such as civic health, faith in action, food security, and global citizenship. Register’s specialization is in food security.

Register has gained valuable hands-on experience in the Barry University Garden in just the first four weeks of work.

“While I do not have a green thumb, I am happy to contribute to the university’s garden,” said Register. “We have many fruits and vegetables, some of which I've eat[en] from here myself.”

Register is proud to see the garden progressing and to be part of its success.

Jessica Morency, a work-study student for the Center for Counseling and Psychological Services, works as a student ambassador. Morency’s position has expanded her understanding of mental health. It has also allowed her to inform her peers of what campus counseling services has to offer, like free one-on-one sessions and a plethora of events to take part in year-round that will help students become their best selves.

“I have gained experience in relation to my future profession in nursing and I finally see how prominent it is to pay attention to mental health,” said Morency.

“From freshman year to senior year, I can confidently say that I gained awareness that everyone needs someone they can count on. It is such a humbling experience.”

To apply for work-study positions on campus, students can scan the above QR code.

Members of Barry's Urban Garden: (From left to right) Samuel Vilmeau, Katriel Register and Kaitlyn Gallagher. Photo Credit to Jimmy Muniz Jr.

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