Federal Work-Study Eligibility

Participation in the Federal Work-Study Program is awarded to eligible students who are enrolled on at least a ½-time basis (6 credits or more) as part of a financial aid package which is based on financial need: the difference between educational expenses and family resources. Since financial aid packages are reviewed and revised annually, student eligibility and earnings limits may change from one academic year to the next.

Every student who is granted a work-study award is given an "earnings limit," as indicated on the student's Financial Aid Award Notification. This is the maximum amount a student may earn from work-study (before taxes) during the academic year. In general, students are awarded enough to work approximately 18 hours per week at their designated rate of pay. Most jobs pay $8/hour.

Whenever a student's work-study award is changed, a revised Financial Aid Award Notification is sent to the student. The Financial Aid Office will also send an email to the student and the supervisor noting what changes have occurred in the student's award. Student work schedules should be adjusted as soon as possible to prevent over-earning the award allotment.

It is extremely important to acknowledge the shared responsibility between the Financial Aid Office, the student, and the employer to monitor a student's earnings. The student must stop working when the earnings limit is reached. Email notifications will be sent to both the student and the employer when a student approaches the earnings limit.

Students are selected for jobs based on the qualifications indicated on their application, the needs of individual position supervisors, and the availability of positions.


Any College position for which there is a staff person to provide regular supervision is eligible for consideration under the Federal Work-Study Program. Off-campus, the Federal Work-Study Program has been expanded to include community service organizations. As defined by federal regulations, community service is designed to improve the quality of life for community residents, particularly low-income individuals, or to solve particular problems related to their needs, including such fields as health care, child care, literacy training, education, welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, crime prevention, recreation, rural development and community improvement. Blue Ridge Community College also participates in the America Reads Program to meet part of the community service portion of the Federal Work Study Program. Through this program work-study students will be able to make a contribution to the community by working as reading and math tutors at several public schools in our service area.

General Requirements

Under Federal regulations, a student may be selected for employment under the Federal Work-Study Program only if he/she meets all of the following requirements.

  • Enrolled in a minimum of 6 units.
  • A U.S. citizen, or in the U.S. for other than a temporary purpose with the intention of becoming a permanent resident.
  • Capable, in the opinion of the institution, of maintaining a good academic standing while employed under the program.
  • In need of earnings from such employment in order to pursue a course of study at the institution.

The Financial Aid Office uses the FAFSA form submitted by the student to determine a student’s financial need. The budget includes tuition, fees, books, supplies, room and board, transportation and personal expenses. The student’s resources are then subtracted from his/her total budget. The difference is the amount of aid for which the student is eligible.