A recent report from the Texas Education Agency showed that last year Texas hit an all time high for high school completion rates. This is great news for our growing state and for graduating students about to embark on their careers, which often require higher education. To help students pay for this education, the Texas Legislature created the Texas College Work-Study Program that provides part-time jobs to qualifying college students.

Since its creation in 1989, Work-Study has helped thousands of students with a job to offset some of their expenses. Traditionally, most jobs offered in this program were on campus duties, such as working in the cafeteria and library or office assistants. And while these jobs helped students gain professional experience and a salary, they did not always help them move into their professional field of choice.

This year the Texas Legislature made changes to the program so that colleges could pair with non-profit and for-profit organizations, allowing students to get placed with a job of their chosen field that could lead to full-time employment after graduation. This new partnership helps businesses by reducing the cost of training new employees and it helps students gain a foot in the door and have a potential job upon graduating. This important change will also allow upwards of 1,600 more students per year to participate in Work-Study.

To determine if your student is eligible for Work-Study, contact your college’s financial aid office. You will need a completed FAFSA.