Work-Study is a financial aid award that allows undergraduate and graduate students to work part-time to earn money to pay for educational expenses. The program encourages community service work and work related to the recipient's course of study. Students earning work-study funds are paid bi-weekly. If awarded work-study, students may search open positions on the Handshake Job Board.
Students can be awarded Federal or Colorado Work-Study.
Federal work-study is need-based financial aid awarded with Federal funding. To be eligible a student may be a graduate or undergraduate student, and must demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
Colorado State Work-Study:
- Colorado State Need based Work-Study – Most Colorado work-study is need-based aid that is awarded with state funding. To be eligible a student must be an undergraduate with no prior degree, and a Colorado resident. The student must demonstrate financial need as determined by the FAFSA.
- Colorado State Non-Need based Work-Study – Colorado Non-Need work-study is awarded without regard to need and funded by the state. To be eligible a student must be an undergraduate with no prior degree, and a Colorado resident. To be eligible the student must complete the FAFSA.
How Do I Qualify?
- To be considered for work-study, students must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and should indicate on their FAFSA they are interested in work-study. Indicating interest on the FAFSA does not guarantee work-study will be included in a student’s financial aid award, and it does not bind a student to accept work-study if offered.
- Awards are generally based on need as determined by the FAFSA.
- Students must be accepted into a degree program and be enrolled at least half-time.
What are the Benefits of a Work-Study Position?
- Students in work-study positions earn at least the Colorado minimum wage of $9.30 an hour.
- Students who are awarded work-study receive the funds in a paycheck as they earn them, based on hours worked, just like a normal job.
- Many work-study positions have flexible hours, which makes work-study jobs desirable.
- Being employed in a work-study position helps students to establish campus connections, which strengthens their support network on campus.
- Work-study provides students the opportunity to gain valuable work experience while still in college, which helps to prepare students for their careers upon graduation.
- The money students earn through work-study is taxable, and should be reported on the FAFSA. Work-study earnings do not count against a student’s federal financial aid. Even though students report work-study as part of their total income on the FAFSA, there is another place on the FAFSA where work-study earnings are reported separately and the FAFSA formula does not count that against the student.
How Do I Find a Work-Study Position?
- Many work-study positions are posted on the Handshake Job Board.
- Students may speak with instructors, colleges, and departments to inquire about open work-study positions.
- Students are responsible for securing their own work-study jobs. Being awarded work-study does not guarantee a job. Ensure you are a strong candidate for a position by updating your resume and preparing for interviews.
What Are The Next Steps After a Student Accepts a Work-Study Position?
- Students should work with their new employer to complete a background check and new hire paperwork.
- Students should speak with their supervisor to establish a work schedule.
- Students should maintain eligibility for work-study by meeting financial aid requirements.
For more information regarding Work-Study please visit our Student Employment website.