Student Financial Services clarifies international students’ status on work-study jobs

Illustration by Grace Everett | Photographer

By Sarah Wang | Reporter

Baylor strives to help students afford their Baylor education through many resources, including academic scholarships, financial aid and various awards, according to its scholarships and aids webpage. Apart from those options, Baylor also offers student employment opportunities through work-study.

“Federal Work-Study provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need, allowing them to earn money to help pay education expenses,” the Federal Student Aid website reads.

Senior director of enrollment services Taryn Anderson said international students aren’t eligible for Federal Work-Study because they aren’t eligible for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). However, she said they are able to do work-study through the University Work Study program.

University Work Study is available to any student who wants to work on campus, and it does not require filing the FAFSA. Since priority is given based on need, students who cannot file the FAFSA or are not eligible for Federal Work-Study will be allowed to pursue campus employment after the first three weeks of the fall semester, according to Baylor’s work-study webpage.

“International students must have a visa that allows them to work in the United States and are limited to 20 hours per week,” Anderson said.

Anderson said that although work-study can seem to fill up an already crammed schedule, work-study is targeted toward students who have that schedule in mind. Those jobs do not require previous experience, and on-the-job training is provided. Anderson said that all of these benefits make work-study a very valuable experience.

“Work-study can be a great way to meet people, learn about Baylor resources and add to your resume,” Anderson said.

Zhengzhou, China, sophomore Zhizhong Liu previously had a work-study job serving customers at the window of The Penland Crossroads. He said he believes work-study jobs are designed for students who can manage their time wisely.

“The time limit [for work-study] on campus isn’t long, and you still have plenty of time to study and play,” Liu said.

According to Liu, the greatest benefit from his work-study experience was the improvement he made in his language ability and the acquaintances he made in many Penland employees. He said he had more confidence in communicating in English and found the courage to socialize.

“Moreover, the work is relaxed and stress-free,” Liu said. “I would definitely recommend others to work on campus because Baylor guarantees students’ rights and interests, and that makes campus jobs safe and convenient.”

For more details on international students’ employment, visit the Center for Global Engagement’s On-Campus Employment webpage.