You should explore all your options if you are in need to financial aid for financing your postsecondary education. There are plenty of opportunities that you can take advantage of, so you should not miss your chance. Both the Pell Grant and the Work-Study program, available from the Federal Government, are designed to aid you in paying your costs for school. You should definitely learn how they can be useful to you.
You can receive a Pell Grant and participate in a Work-Study program at the same time. The two are not mutually exclusive. You can readily take advantage of both sources of funding. Still, you have to consider a number of other factors regarding these two financial aid options.
In order for you to get a Pell Grant and participate in Work-Study, your school has to offer both type of programs. Most schools do, but some do not have the capability to participate in the latter because it is more complex to administer. Hence, you should check whether you can get both types of aid from your school.
You can apply for both programs automatically using the standard Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). You simply need to indicate that you have an interest in the Pell Grant and in Work-Study. You will receive your expected family contribution (EFC) sum which will determine your eligibility for Federal financial student aid. If you are eligible for both programs, then you have to check with your school what the specific arrangements are.
There is one essential point that you should keep in mind. Your income from your Work-Study job is not included in your expected family contribution. Simply put, this income will not determine how much Federal financial aid you will get. This means that you will not get a smaller Pell Grant because you participate in the Work-Study program. You are asked to announce these earnings separately on your FAFSA form, so that they are not considered when your eligibility for Federal grants is determined. Still, this income is taxable and you have to include it in your tax return.
Generally, it is perfectly possible for a student to receive a full Pell Grant and to participate in Work-Study at the same time. You have to decide whether this combination works well for you. Some students find it difficult to work and study at the same time. As an undergraduate student, you are permitted to work for up to 40 hours a week, but this is way too much. Most students are recommended to be on the job for no more than 10 to 20 hours a week. In addition, you have to take into account the fact that you will not have a wide range of choices when getting a job as part of this program. In addition, you might have to meet some requirements in order to get a position.
Overall, you can take advantage of a Pell Grant and Work-Study, but you have to make sure that you can manage between work and school.