Will a Student Job Shrink Your Financial Aid Package?

I’ve been writing posts for this college blog since the summer of 2008 and I figured I’d written about every topic imaginable, but there was at least one that I had overlooked.
Even though plenty of parents are worried about it, I had never addressed this issue:  If a student has a job will this hurt his or her chances for financial aid?
I have reported in the past that a student’s assets are assessed at 20% for financial aid purposes, but what about a child’s income?
I can now share the answers with you. I got the scoop from Myra Baas Smith, who is the executive director of financial aid services at the College Board.
The financial aid methodology used by the FAFSA and the CSS/Financial Aid PROFILE each treat student jobs differently, but the vast majority of undergrads aren’t going to make enough money during the summer or throughout the year to impact their financial aid award.
I wrote about the rules regarding student jobs and financial aid in the latest post for my college blog over at CBSMoneyWatch. Please check it out here:

Summer Job: Can It Hurt Financial Aid Chances?

Bottom Line:

If your child is lucky enough to have a job, you can stop worrying about the financial aid consequences. Hopefully some of the money that your child is earning will help defray the cost of your college tab.
Lynn O’Shaughnessy is the author of The College Solution and she also writes a college blog for CBSMoneyWatch and another for US News & World Report. Follow her on Twitter.

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  1. Thanks for giving your ideas. Something is that pupils have a selection between federal student loan and also a private education loan where its easier to go with student loan consolidating debts than through the federal student loan.
    One important thing is that when you find yourself searching for a student loan you may find that you will need a co-signer. There are many situations where this is true because you might discover that you do not possess a past credit standing so the lender will require that you’ve someone cosign the borrowed funds for you. Thanks for your post.
    Thanks for this article. I’d also like to state that it can be hard when you find yourself in school and simply starting out to create a long credit history. There are many pupils who are just simply trying to survive and have a protracted or favourable credit history are often a difficult matter to have.
    I have learned many important things through your post. I will also like to express that there may be a situation in which you will obtain a loan and don’t need a cosigner such as a National Student Aid Loan. But when you are getting financing through a common banker then you need to be made ready to have a cosigner ready to make it easier for you. The lenders can base their decision on the few issues but the greatest will be your credit score. There are some financial institutions that will also look at your work history and make up your mind based on this but in almost all cases it will hinge on your report.
    One other issue is when you are in a scenario where you don’t have a co-signer then you may really need to try to make use of all of your school funding options. You will discover many funds and other scholarships that will present you with finances to support with school expenses. Thanks a lot for the post.

  2. Lynn – I have a question about one area about student work that you did not address. If a student earns income from a Federal Work Study job that the college has granted as part of their aid package – that money is not included in their earned income for the year that is evaluated under the FAFSA or CSS, right?

    1. Hi Rich,
      I don’t believe that work-study money has any impact on the expected family contribution, but you could contact the Financial Aid office at any college and ask to be sure. Next time I talk to an aid administrator I’m going ask that question myself.
      Thanks for visiting my blog!
      Lynn O’Shaughnessy