What is Work-Study?

A work-study award is a form of financial aid which provides an opportunity for undergraduate, graduate, and 2nd and 3rd year law school students to earn money by working on campus or with a qualified off campus employer to help meet their educational expenses. Students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to be considered for a work-study award.

How to Qualify for a Work-study Award

You may be awarded work-study if you:

  • indicated an interest in work-study employment on your FAFSA;
  • are an undergraduate pursuing your first degree, a graduate or a 2nd or 3rd year law student;
  • qualify for need-based aid which is determined by your FAFSA results;
  • graduate and 2nd and 3rd year law students must have a 0 EFC which is determined by your FAFSA results;
  • are enrolled full time;

Work-study benefits

A work-study award does not guarantee employment, but has several benefits not available in regular employment. Some employers will only accept qualified work-study applicants, so you will find a greater number of job openings available if you have an award. Another important benefit is that your work-study income is not included when your financial aid need is determined each year, which may increase your eligibility for other types of financial aid, such as scholarships, grants, or subsidized loans.

The University's Student Employment Office provides centralized employment services for all University students seeking part-time employment. A variety of opportunities are available; some jobs require little or no experience while others require expertise and training. Positions will vary from clerical, information technology, food and parking services, laboratory, teaching and research, science, and tutoring services. As of July 1, 2020, the San Francisco minimum wage is $16.07 per hour. All jobs are posted at the University's online job boards, on-campus and off-campus.

Work requirements

You may use your work-study funds in any on-campus student position or off-campus position offered through the Community Service and America Reads programs. The work-study award amount is the total amount you may earn in your work-study position. Working part time for 10-25 hours per week is recommended, and you are permitted to work a maximum of 25 hours per week. Most employers will work with students to set a reasonable work schedule around a student's academic and other commitments.

Important Dates for Work-study

Work dates are determined by your work-study award period and registration status. You must stop work immediately when you reach your total award unless your department decides to continue to fund your position as regular student employment. Your award may be canceled if you are not employed after a certain amount of time, in order for unused funds to be awarded to another student.

Work-study Questions and Answers

What if I was not awarded work-study but would like to work in a work-study position?

You should contact Student Enrollment Services to determine if you meet work-study eligibility criteria. If you do, you will be placed on a work-study waiting list and as funds become available, you will be awarded and notified. (If you complete your FAFSA as early as possible and respond promptly to all requests for additional financial aid documentation, you will increase your chances of receiving a work-study award.)

If I applied for financial aid and have financial need, why did I not receive a work-study award?

Not enough work-study funds are available to award all students who make requests. If you are interested in student employment and have not received a work-study award, apply for other on-campus jobs posted at the online job board. Student employees earn the same wages whether or not they have a work-study award.

Can I work more than one work-study job?

No, you may only have one work-study job per semester.  All other jobs will be regular student jobs. You must monitor your total earnings from the work-study job position to ensure that you do not exceed your work-study award amount. Some employers prefer that a student only has one job. Students must not exceed a 25 hour work week.

If I earn my full work-study award, can I receive more?

You should conscientiously track your earnings and contact Student Enrollment Services to determine if you have eligibility for additional work-study funding. If funds are available and you have unmet need, your work-study award may be increased.

Can I transfer my fall/spring work-study award to the summer term if I did not use it during fall and/or spring semester(s)?

No, work-study awards for the fall and spring semesters expire on the last day of spring semester. Any unused awards or portions of awards are invalid after this day.

Should I report my work-study earnings on my tax return?

Yes, all work-study earnings are taxable income and must be reported as such.

How do I report my work-study earnings on my FAFSA?

You will be asked to report work-study earnings on Worksheet C of your FAFSA. This allows your work-study earnings to be excluded when determining your financial need. This is a major benefit of having an award and using your work-study award.

If I decline my work-study award, will I receive some other form of financial aid?

If you decline your work-study award, you may be eligible for additional student loan funding.

*Please note that a Work-Study award is different from a Campus Job Opportunity award in that a Work-Study is a federal aid program and a portion on your earnings is subsidized by the federal government.