Federal Work-Study Community Service
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Guidance to help you determine if your work-study position meets the federal definition of community service.
Federal Work-Study Community Service Definition
Federal Work-Study students are encouraged to pursue employment that is community service-related. Community service positions contribute to the improvement in the quality of life for area residents by helping solve particular problems related to their needs. Job categories that are considered community service include:
- Health care, child care, literacy training, education (including tutorial service), welfare, social services, transportation, housing and neighborhood improvement, public safety, crime prevention and control, recreation, rural development, community improvement, and emergency preparedness and response
- Support services to enrolled students with disabilities (including students with disabilities who are enrolled at the school).
- Activities in which a student serves as a mentor for purposes such as tutoring, supporting educational and recreational activities, and counseling, including career counseling
Per the U.S. Department of Education, students may be employed in community service positions that provide either direct or indirect services to the community. For example, it is acceptable for a Federal Work-Study student to be employed in a clerical position for a food bank. It is not required that the student be involved in delivering services directly.
Both on-campus and off-campus jobs can qualify as community service work. However, on-campus jobs must involve a program, project, or service that is provided to the general public in the local community. On-campus jobs that serve only the campus community do not qualify as community service employment.