Work-Study Eligibility

Learn how work-study can help offset some of your education costs

Federal work-study, an integral part of the federal financial aid system, provides part-time jobs for undergraduate and graduate students with financial need. The program allows these students to earn money to help defray their educational expenses. Along with loans, grants, scholarships and family savings, work-study jobs form the basis of most student support.

The program encourages community service work and jobs that are somehow related to the recipient's major course of study. Off-campus work-study positions generally are for nonprofit organizations or public agencies. Under federal law, all such work must be in the public interest.

Under the program, undergraduates are paid by the hour (at least minimum wage, but often higher, depending on the type of work and skills involved). Here are several other work-study requirements:

  • No federal work-study student may be paid by commission or fee
  • Your school must pay you directly (unless you ask otherwise) and at least monthly
  • Work-study eligibility requires undergraduates to be enrolled for at least six hours per semester, and graduate students must be enrolled at least three hours
  • Student may not log any more than 39 hours a week in work-study jobs, although 20 hours a week is the recommended workload

Jobs under the federal work-study program are usually quite school-friendly. Work hours are assigned with an eye to the student's class schedule, and the school's financial aid office generally tracks your academic progress and makes sure that the amounts awarded under these jobs are consistent with the terms of your financial aid award. But the ultimate responsibility is still yours.

Learn more about education financing options

Since not all students are awarded work-study, after grants, scholarships and federal aid have been maximized, the Charter One TruFit Student Loan™ can help fill the remaining cost of financing your education. Access more information about financing your education with our student loan FAQ. Also, check out useful information about our Charter One TruFit Student Loan™. If you still have questions about financing, call a student loan specialist at 1-800-721-3969, and we'll help walk you through the process.

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