November 15, 2021

Work Study vs. Student Assistant

Learning the lingo

Exploring the differences between these student employment options

Learning, of course, is the goal of any college experience. Part of that education means familiarizing yourself with some unfamiliar terms. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

As part of an occasional series, we’ll explain phrases, lingo or topics to add to your college vocabulary. We call it “Say What?” If there’s a topic you’d like to see covered, please send suggestions to [email protected].

Today we’ll learn about the differences between Work Study and Student Assistant.

If you’re a student interested in an on-campus job, there are many options available through Student Employment. This includes Work Study and Student Assistant.

“There are jobs on campus to fit almost anyone’s situation. We love our student employees and appreciate all they do for Schoolcraft College.”

Julie Hill, Career Resource Specialist

What are the differences?

Work Study jobs are funded by federal financial aid, while Student Assistant jobs are funded by Schoolcraft College’s individual department budgets. The student employees under both classifications of student employment, whether Work Study or Student Assistant, are paid hourly and receive their paycheck by direct deposit every two weeks.

Work Study students may work up to 20 hours per week, while Student Assistants can work up to 25 hours per week. Hourly wage for Work Study students is determined by the Financial Aid Office, and is currently set at $11 per hour. Most Student Assistants who work on campus earn $10-$11 per hour.

Group of students posing for a photo
Working for the Schoolcraft Connection student newspaper offers hands-on experience.

Who’s eligible?

Students must be enrolled in at least six credit hours for Fall and Winter, or three credit hours for Spring and Summer, to be eligible to work on campus. They have to maintain a GPA of 2.0 or higher. F-1 Visa international students must be enrolled full-time during the Fall and Winter semesters or 3 credit hours during Spring and Summer if they work on campus.

What are some of the jobs?

Person talking on the phone at a desk
Office jobs in various departments are available for students.

No matter your skill set or interest, there’s likely an opportunity for you. Some campus jobs are very hands-on – the Duplication Design Center, Facilities/Grounds, Culinary Operations and the Welding Lab are good examples.

Others are more internship-like. Blackboard Support, for example, recently hired three Computer Information Systems (CIS) students to train as help desk specialists. Also, many of the Student Services offices regularly hire student employees to help with their daily operations. These offices include Financial Aid, Admissions, Student Activities, and Registration.

How do I get started?

Contact Career Services by at [email protected] or call 734-462-4421. You also can visit the Career Services website.

“One of the best benefits of student employment on campus is that we provide a built-in support network for our student employees, and we are flexible with each student’s changing schedule each semester,” said JoAnne Stadnicar, Director of Career Services. “We want our student employees to succeed academically and professionally, and we are here to help them develop skills and support them as they pursue their education.”

Added Julie Hill, Career Resource Specialist, “For some students, this is their first ‘real’ job. We also have students who choose to write for the student newspaper, lifeguard, or tutor for a limited number of hours each week in addition to working in another job off-campus.

“There are jobs on campus to fit almost anyone’s situation. We love our student employees and appreciate all they do for Schoolcraft College.”

Our thanks to JoAnne Stadnicar and Julie Hill for their assistance with this story.

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