Work Study

Overview

The college offers programs of instruction designed to meet a variety of educational and vocational needs of students. Students who wish to earn a baccalaureate degree may complete the freshman and sophomore years and then transfer to a senior institution. 

The college also offers programs that lead to immediate employment. It supplies background courses essential to the up-grading of occupational/technical skills and provides general education courses to broaden one’s knowledge beyond the confines of a particular occupational specialty.

Courses are offered in the day and evening and online using the Internet during the academic year and in summer sessions. Students may enroll online on a part-time or full-time basis. Rotation of evening offerings enables students to earn degrees by attending evening sessions on only a part-time basis.

Five Steps!

  1. Make sure you have been awarded Work-Study (CWS or IWS) by the Office of Financial Aid
  2. Contact the employer listed to apply for the position.
  3. Potential employers will review the applicants.
  4. The employer will contact the appropriate applicant to go over employment details.
  5. If you were not awarded Work-Study funds from the Financial Aid office, there are still part-time jobs available. SouthArk's Job Placement Office has a listing of local businesses that are interested in hiring students.

 

Responsibilities

Paperwork 

Your award notice must be signed and returned to the Financial Aid Office, Administration Building 105. Check the listings of Work-Study jobs on the website. Contact the supervisor listed to apply for a position. After you work out the details of your job with them, complete the necessary paperwork. Priority will be given to students who qualify for Federal Work-Study.

You must complete the following personnel papers before beginning to work :
- Student Placement Form
- W-4 form
- I-9 form

Your employer will have these forms. They must be sent to the Financial Aid Office with a copy of your driver's license and Social Security card.

Remember - if you haven't signed the Award Notice and/or the Student Placement form and completed the personnel papers, your payroll check will be delayed.


Schedule and Earnings

Your employer will help you arrange your schedule based on the number of hours you're allowed to work and your class schedule. The number of hours depends on the amount of your Work-Study Award.

Example 

Amount awarded  ÷  Weeks in semester  ÷  Rate of pay  =  # of hours per week 
$1000                   ÷  16 weeks                 ÷  $5.15           =  * 12 hours


*Based on average award of $1000 per semester. 
The example above illustrates the weekly schedule for a student worker.Work-Study students may not work more than a combined 8 hours per day or 40 hours per week (Sunday through Saturday) in all jobs on both campuses.

You and your supervisor can keep track of the amount of Work-Study award that has been used.

Example

First pay period 
Student's award   -  Student's gross pay          =   Remaining award  
$1000 .00             -  (20 hrs. x 5.15) = 103.00  =   $897.00 

Second pay period 
Remaining award  -  Student's gross pay          =   Remaining award  
$897.00                -   $50.00                              =   $847.00

 Students are allowed to work between the Fall and Spring semesters ONLY if they have unearned funds left from their Fall award, and are awarded FWSP and pre-registered for Spring.

Students are allowed to work between the Spring and Summer semesters ONLY if they have unearned funds left from their Spring award, have been awarded Work-Study for Summer, AND are pre-registered for Summer.

Remember, if you begin working before the beginning of a semester you may earn all your allowed work-study award before the end of the term. This may result in the loss of your job before the semester ends.

No additional money may be awarded to work between semesters.

Timesheets

Your supervisor will record hours on the Work-Study Program time sheet. 
The time sheet is due in the Financial Aid Office, AB 105, by the 4th of each month.
Late time sheets will cause your payroll check to be delayed. 
Your supervisor will notify you when and where to turn in your time sheet. 
Make sure all information is correctly filled in on your time sheet.
Always sign in and out for unpaid breaks and lunches. 
Don't forget to sign your time sheet and have your supervisor sign it also.
Please list your Social Security number and the number of hours you are enrolled.
You may want to keep a copy of your time sheet in case of questions later.

Tips

Notify your supervisor in advance when you are unable to work.
Cooperate with your supervisor and other employees in a responsible manner.
You must remain on a particular job for the duration of the assigned period (just because you locate another job on campus is not reason for a transfer).
Give adequate notice to your supervisor if you plan to terminate your job for any reason.
If job-related problems arise, tell the supervisor - communication often alleviates difficulties.
Respect the confidentiality of all information to which you have access in your work assignment.
Reapply each year for the Federal Work-Study Program and financial aid by filing a Free application for Federal Financial Aid after January 1st of each year.
To be considered for the work-study program for summer, you must also complete and return an Application for Summer Financial Aid to the Financial Aid Office.

Job Assistance

If you have used the job listings several times and find that: 

  • You don't have enough experience
  • The job doesn't pay enough
  • No job openings interest you
  • Positions are already filled when you apply
  • The employer is considering several people and you aren't called


Here are some ideas to try:

Expert help
SouthArk offers a Career Management class . Contact Lynda Cheek, Director of Workforce Development, ext. 193.

Getting leads
Keep trying ! Check the classified ads every day. Check on-campus and off-campus listings. Always set up your interview quickly. Contact various departments or businesses directly. Some employers hire through personal contacts. Call the employer back if you don't hear from then after a few days.

Interviewing
You may need to reevaluate your interviewing skills. Remember, the first impression is most important. Dress appropriately and be on time.

Goals
Taking a position in a completely different area is a good way to get varied experiences, and find out if you might enjoy working in that field. If you're unable to find a job in your selected area of interest, don't be afraid to try something different - you may be surprised.

$$$$$$$
Although money is important, you may find it's worthwhile to work at a low-paying job to gain experience, learn valuable skills, and discover what you like and don't like about a job.

Other options
If you still don't have enough experience, you have several options. Take a lower-level position ; consider doing volunteer work to get experience ; join committees or groups related to your interests ; talk to others who work in your area of interest and find out how they got their job.

Benefits

The Federal Work-Study (WS) program is a way for students to earn money to help pay for their educational expenses.

There are many WS jobs available, so you have an excellent chance of being hired. Employers benefit by receiving a government subsidy when they hire WS students, so they are more likely to hire a student who is eligible for WS.

The WS program is a good way to help serve your community ( such as tutoring) and by working in areas related to your course of study.

Employers let you work a flexible schedule that won't conflict with your classes.

FWS is a financial aid need-based program, so your income does not affect your future financial aid eligibility, even though it is taxable.

Your FWS employer can become an excellent reference for your resume. Many employers are impressed with students who have work experience and who worked while attending college.

Work-study can be a valuable experience where you'll learn communication skills, time management, critical thinking, as well as special job skills such as using computers and office equipment.

Contact the Financial Aid Office at (870) 862-8131 ext. 238 if you have more questions about the Federal Work-Study program.