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Work Study FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Table of Contents:

What is Work Study?
How do you get Work Study?
Am I eligible for Work Study?
What opportunities does Work Study offer?
What kind of responsibilities are involved in Work Study?
Is Work Study a job?
How many hours per week do/can I work?
Helpful Hints

What is Work Study?

Work Study is a form of financial aid. It's a job that pays an hourly wage. Paychecks are issued, just like a regular job, that can be automatically deposited in your bank or picked up in the University Cashier. Work Study earnings may be used for whatever expenses you have, rather than automatically paying housing or tuition expenses. Income Tax is taken out of these wages.

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How do you get Work Study?

You must apply and be eligible for financial aid. It is critical to get your financial aid application in as soon as possible. Work Study funds are limited and go to the students with the most need who have met the priority deadline for applying for financial aid which is February 15th. Work Study is an academic year program . There is no Work Study in the summer.

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Am I eligible for Work Study?:

You may be eligible for work study if you have fulfilled the following criteria:
• Submitted your FAFSA (Federal Application For Student Aid) before January 31st
• Requested work study on the FAFSA
• Your EFC (Estimated Family Contribution) is below $3000

If you have questions regarding this criteria you may contact our office at (360) 650-3158.

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Work Study Offers You the Opportunity:

• To gain work experience and improve marketable skills
• To explore possible career opportunities
• To meet a new set of contacts who may eventually become valuable references for future employment
• To reduce loan indebtedness and participate in the “working your way through school” concept

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Work Study is a Responsibility

Your initial placement has been made based on the information you provided on your Interest Sheet. An attempt has been made to place you in a position in keeping with your particular interests and abilities. As soon as possible after you arrive on campus, you should contact the employer listed on the enclosed Referral Letter and arrange for an interview.

If you are accepted for the position, your employer will explain your pay rate and help you complete the necessary paperwork. If you accept a position, it is expected that, if possible, you will offer a commitment for the full academic year. If circumstances arise where you need to terminate your position, it is expected that you will give your employer two weeks notice, unless an earlier date is mutually agreed upon. If you are not offered the position, or if for any reason the position is not acceptable to you, the Student Work Experience Center will assist you in finding another placement. There are always work study jobs that go unfilled. If you need more hours in order to earn all of your award, or are having trouble fitting a job around your schedule, please see us in the Student Work Experience Center, Old Main 285.

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Work Study is a Job

Your work study earnings will not be provided to you in a lump sum. Work Study is not applied towards your housing or tuition. Just like any other on campus job, you will be paid twice monthly throughout the school year, based on the number of hours you work per pay period. Checks are picked up at the University Cashier or can be automatically deposited in your bank account. The Direct Deposit enrollment form is available at the Student Accounts Website. You and your employer should regulate your work hours so that your earnings are approximately equal to your work study award.

If you have any questions about the Work Study Program please contact the Student Employment Center, in Old Main 285.

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How Many Hours A Week Will I Work?

To calculate the number of hours a week you will need to work in order to earn your work study award, follow the instructions below:

Step 1. You and your employer determine your pay rate.
Step 2. Divide your total award by your hourly pay rate to get your total hours per academic year.
Step 3. Divide this figure by 3 and you will have the number of hours per quarter needed to earn your work study award.
Step 4. Divide this figure by 11 (there are 11 weeks in the quarter).

This will give you the number of hours per week you will need to work in order to earn your award each quarter. Your award is broken into three quarters in order to help you budget your earnings.


Total Award $3300
Award for quarter $1100
Pay Rate $8.50 per hour
$1100 ÷ $8.50 = 129.41 hours
129.41 hours ÷ 11 weeks = approximately 11.76 hours per week in order to earn this award

You can use this formula anytime during the year to figure how many hours you need to work. Ask your employer for your remaining balance and divide that by your pay rate. Divide that answer by the number of remaining weeks in the quarter.

Students may not work more than 19 hours a week during the academic year. Students may, however, work up to full time during the break periods to make up for unearned work study award amounts.

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Helpful Hints:

Read the Online Student Employment Guide when you are hired; be sure to read the Employment Policies and Procedures section.
• Know your pay rate.
• Request a copy of your job description.
• Keep all your pay stubs in an envelope; these can help you keep track of how much you have earned.
• Keep all employment-related papers together - they can be very helpful when writing a resume.

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