Report Proposes Reforms to Federal Work Study

   Those who may need federal work study the most may miss out on securing its benefits.

Those who may need federal work-study the most may miss out on securing its benefits.

This is according to a new report from Young Invincibles. The report, which utilizes the Department of Education data as well as data from the Access to Success Initiative, shows that low-income students may miss out on getting work-study despite their need. The introduction states:

  • Only 16 percent of institutions awarded Federal Work-Study (FWS) to every eligible student.
  • During 2011-2012, only 16.4 percent of dependent students whose families make less than $20,000 received FWS aid, while 8.2 percent of dependent students with family incomes over $100,000 received FWS aid.

As work-study can potentially provide ‘real world’ job experience that can help low-income students to be more competitive in the entry-level/post-graduation marketplace, it is critical that students eligible for federal work-study have that option as a means of vocational training and financing education. Young Invincibles lays out a list of recommendations, including the following:

  • Implementing a new distribution formula focused on enrolling, serving, and graduating Pell recipients.
  • Promoting FWS as a career-ready program through the expansion of Job Location Development Programs
  • Creating a Career Internships Program within FWS.
  • Requiring students, institutions, and employers to agree on what constitutes “course of study.”