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Washington State University
Fund Your Education & Eliminate Loans Work-Study Jobs

Work-study is designed to help qualifying students fund their education by finding employment while attending WSU. Work-study student pay comes from a partnership of federal or state funds, and WSU employer funds. and provides students the opportunity to earn, often while working in their area of study.

Work-study is not a requirement for students to work on campus. Many students are employed in part-time positions without work-study funding. If you’re interested in part-time employment, you can locate open positions by inquiring at any campus locations where you would like to work, by checking Handshake, or by visiting the Academic Success & Career Center.

Get help finding and applying for work-study jobs at the Academic Success and Career Center (ASCC).

Search for Work-Study Jobs

Work-Study Informational Video

Eligibility and limitations

A student can only be offered financial aid up to the cost of attendance. Any work-study award must fit within your financial aid package without causing your total aid to exceed the cost of attendance. You may see a reduction in your offered loan funds to accommodate the work-study award. This will automatically occur when the WSAF is approved and work-study is awarded.

Work-study will never reduce grants and/or scholarships, only loans.


You are eligible for Work-Study if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • At least $4,000 of unmet need-based eligibility
  • Submit the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) and Verification documents, if necessary, by WSU’s priority deadline
  • Check the box on the FAFSA or WASFA (Washington Application for State Financial Aid) that indicates interest in being considered for work-study
  • Satisfactory academic progress standing with WSU and the Student Financial Services office

To determine need eligibility:

  1. Find your total Cost of Attendance (COA) for WSU.
  2. Subtract your Expected Family Contribution (EFC). EFC is determined by the FAFSA or WASFA and can be viewed in your FAFSA or WASFA account.
  3. Subtract any scholarships or grants currently listed in your aid package (view your aid package in myWSU: myWSU/Student Center/View Financial Aid).
  4. Any remaining amount is your remaining financial need.

An example of a student with work-study eligibility:

24,938 = COA
-4,000 (EFC)
-10,000 (Scholarships and Grants)
= 10,938 of Need-Based Eligibility

An example of a student who does not have work-study eligibility:

24,938 = COA
-20,500 (EFC)
-4,438 (Scholarships and Grants)
= 0 Need-Based Eligibility

Need assistance?

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Awarding process

If you are eligible for Work-Study, you will be notified via your WSU email account, typically in May, at the end of the spring semester, after receiving your financial aid package for the academic year. Begin looking for work as soon as possible, since funding is limited and awarding does not occur until your employer submits their Work-Study Authorization Form.

Work-Study step by step:

  1. Make sure to mark your interest in Work-Study on your FAFSA/WASFA.
  2. Submit your FAFSA/WASFA & Requested Verification Items on-time.
  3. Student Financial Services will evaluate and determine eligibility. If you are eligible, you will receive a checklist as well as a communication regarding Work-Study through WSU employers.
  4. Once you are eligible, the next step is to find a Work-Study job. Check Handshake for student employment opportunities on campus. On-campus jobs will identify whether they prefer Work-Study eligible students. Students can also find help and information at the Academic Success & Career Center.
  5. Student Financial Services will then determine eligibility and award amount, and both you and employer will be receive notice by WSU email. If you work prior to receiving a Work-Study award, it is possible the employer will be responsible to pay your wages entirely.
  6. Note that your award is a Work-Study placeholder on your financial aid package. You can earn up to the value of the award amount each term, as you will receive a paycheck twice a month based on the hours you work.
  7. Once Work-Study funding is exhausted, employers can review the CR PAY Work-Study Payroll Transactions to monitor work-study hours being used. (Students may continue to work, but the employer’s Work-Study subsidy will no longer be in effect.)

Award amounts

Work-Study award amounts range from $1,000-$7,000 for an academic year (maximum of $3,500 per semester).

Awards are placed on student aid packages during the fall semester as employers complete the hiring notification process to Student Financial Services. Work-study awarding is on a first come, first serve basis until funds are exhausted. If funds become available again, occasionally spring work-study awards are given to a limited number of students. In general, work-study is not awarded for summer term.

Off-campus Work-Study

Washington state residents who receive notification of eligibility can apply for off-campus Work-Study. Off campus work-study is not currently being offered at the Pullman or Everett campus locations.

However, off campus Work-Study employers must meet specific requirements (provided by RCW 28.B12.060). Off-campus employers must provide a job that is directly related to the student’s major or be a non-profit non-sectarian community service organization. Positions where the duties are not directly related to the student’s academic or vocational pursuits are not eligible for participation in the Off-Campus Work-Study Program.

The process:

Note that Global and Tri-Cities Campuses do not participate in off-campus work study.

  • Employers complete the Washington State Employer Contract and the Job Description Form in order to be evaluated for work-study approval. Submit completed forms to your local WSU office.
  • To receive reimbursement for a portion of the approved student’s wages, the employer returns a completed Work-Study time sheet (provided by WSU) to Student Financial Services via the following address:
    Student Financial Services
    Lighty Student Services Bldg., Rm. 380
    PO Box 641068
    Pullman, WA 99164-1068
  • WSU will process each reimbursement request upon receipt.

Approved off-campus Work-Study employers are responsible for paying the student employee, and for all employer liabilities including FICA, Workman’s Compensation, Federal Income Tax, and any other taxes.

The employer is also responsible for paying 100% of the wages earned by a student employee once the work-study funds have been utilized and are exhausted.