The Federal Work-Study Program was established by Congress as part of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964 and later incorporated under The Higher Education Act of 1965. Its purpose is the promotion of part-time employment for students with financial need to achieve three main goals:
- To assist students in earning money to meet their educational costs,
- To provide work experience related to the student's chosen academic major or career field, and
- To improve relations between the University and the community that benefit and engender a sense of social responsibility, commitment, and connection to the community
Subsequent revisions, amendments, and reauthorizations to the Higher Education Act of 1965 over the years evolved the program to what it is today.
The 1992 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act of 1965 established a need to support children’s or family literacy projects within the community with work-study students serving as tutors. Today, students may serve as tutors in America Reads or JumpStart as one of many work-study position opportunities.