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Work-Study & Other Employment

Federal Work-Study (FWS) is a program subsidized by the federal government that provides part-time job opportunities for students who have need-based financial aid eligibility.

FWS is a great way to earn money to help pay for your educational expenses. Along with gaining valuable work experience, FWS employers understand you are a college student first and are typically very flexible in scheduling. FWS is limited, but on-campus jobs are not. Even if you are not awarded work-study, there are employment opportunities available to students on campus.

Employment Opportunities

Check Handshake, where the Center for Student Opportunity (CSO) staff members post new positions from a variety of sources almost every day including all on-campus employment. You can log in with your Alma College username and password up to a year after graduation.

Federal Work Study

Federal Work Study

Work-study is a federal program that reimburses employers for a portion of student earnings. Students qualify by filing the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) and demonstrating a high level of financial need. If you qualify for work-study, your financial aid award letter will list it.

  • It provides part-time employment while you are enrolled in school.
  • It’s available to undergraduate, graduate, and professional students with financial need.
  • It’s available to full-time or part-time students.
  • It’s administered by schools participating in the Federal Work-Study Program.
  • It’s just like getting a regular job, except that the employer is reimbursed for a part of your earnings.
  • It does not get applied directly to the student account, it must be earned. Students may use their earnings to pay for part of their student bill or for other school related expenses.

Important Note: Being awarded work study does NOT guarantee you a job. A student is responsible for finding employment on campus and should use Handshake to locate available positions.

Community Service

Community Service

Community services are defined as services that are identified by an institution of higher education through formal or informal consultation with local nonprofit, government, 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. These services include:

  1. Fields such as health care, child care, literacy training, education (including tutorial services), welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, crime prevention and control, recreation, rural development, community improvement, and emergency preparedness and response;
  2. Work in service opportunities or youth corps under AmeriCorps, and service in the agencies, institutions, and activities described later;
  3. Support services for students with disabilities (including students with disabilities who are enrolled at the school1); and
  4. Activities in which an FWS student serves as a mentor for such purposes as tutoring, supporting educational and recreational activities, and counseling, including career counseling.

To be considered employed in a community service job for FWS purposes, an FWS student does not have to provide a “direct” service. However, the student must provide services that are designed to improve the quality of life for community residents or to solve particular problems related to those residents’ needs. A school may use its discretion to determine what jobs provide service to the community, within the guidelines provided by the statute, regulations, and the Department.

The definition of community services for FWS includes work in “service opportunities” or “youth corps,” as defined in Section 101 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990:

  • Service opportunity — A program or project, including a service learning program or project, that enables students or out-of-school youth to perform meaningful and constructive service in agencies, institutions, and situations where the application of human talent and dedication may help meet human, educational, linguistic, and environmental community needs, especially those relating to poverty.
  • Youth corps program — A program, such as a conservation corps or youth service program, that offers full-time, productive work (to be financed through stipends) with visible community benefits in a natural resource or human service setting and that gives participants a mix of work experience, basic and life skills, education, training, and support services.

The definition of “community services” also includes service in agencies, institutions, and activities that are designated in Section 124(a) of the National and Community Service Act of 1990. These include the following conservation corps and human services corps programs, as well as programs that encompass the focus and services of both.

1st Year Work to Earn Program

1st Year Work to Earn Program

  • It’s a first year student program.
  • Based on student and supervisor preferences , the Work to Earn Committee determines placement.
  • It’s designed to get students involved on campus and provide an opportunity to earn funding to put towards their expenses or however they choose.
  • Upon successful performance within the first year, departments are encouraged to keep students on staff for the next year. This will be completely dependent on the students performance and the departments needs.
    Student wages are funded by a combination of work study dollars and department dollars.

Employee / Student Information

For Employers

For Employers

All on-campus employers who are looking to hire a student staff member must complete the request form to post their position. Once the form is completed, it will be routed to the Career Development staff to post on Handshake.

Applications (including resumes) will be automatically emailed to the contacts listed below by Handshake for consideration.

As a part of the hiring process, hiring managers should complete the following:

  • Review all applications received by the application deadline
  • Interview selected candidates
  • Follow up with all applicants as to the status of the position once filled
  • Once an applicant is selected, fill out the Supervisor Authorization Form and return to Financial Services. They will reach out to the applicant for any additional paperwork needed.

For Students

For Students

  • Job openings will be posted on the College’s student employment web page, Handshake. To apply for a job, complete an online application and provide a resume when required.
  • Complete the new hire packet and background check when required within 72 hours. Payroll will be notified after an offer of employment has been made. An email will be sent containing a new hire packet and submission instructions.
  • Maintain enrollment necessary for student employment eligibility.
  • Coordinate work hours with supervisors.
  • Do not work at your job during times you are scheduled to be in class.
  • Do not overlap hours between departments. If an employee holds more than one position, they may not work for more than one department concurrently. For example, independent work must be done on your own time, not while being paid to work for another department.
  • Do not work more than 20 hours per week during the academic term. Student hours cannot exceed 40 hours per week during scheduled breaks.
  • Keep an accurate record of hours worked and submit the hours to your supervisor by the posted deadlines.

Get in Touch

Employment forms, time entry and payroll

Employment forms, time entry and payroll
Heidi Holland
(989) 463-7318

Federal Work Study or community service

Financial Aid Office
(989) 463-7347