Discover the eligibility criteria for work-study programs and explore the various types of awards available to qualifying students.

What is Work-Study?

Work-Study is a need-based financial aid program that encourages students to work on campus or with approved off-campus employers to earn money for their educational expenses.

It is not a guarantee of work or wages; students must apply and be hired for a job. You can learn more about job opportunities, how to get a job, and more on the Student Employment website.


Work-Study eligibility is determined each year by the information provided on the student’sFree Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or Washington Application for State Financial Aid (WASFA). All undergraduate students who apply for need-based financial aid are automatically considered for work-study.

Award Types

Eligible students will see work-study included on their Financial Aid Offer Letter on mySeattleU as either ‘Federal Work-Study' or ‘Federal/State Work-Study'.

  • Federal Work-Study is a federal financial aid program and is awarded to students who file a FAFSA and have financial need. Students can be employed in on-campus positions and select off-campus community service positions through the Center for Community Engagement.
  • State Work-Study is a Washington state financial aid program and is awarded to WA state residents who file a FAFSA or WAFSA and have financial need. Students can be employed in approved on-campus or off-campus positions.

***WA state residents can participate in either program.

Accepting/Declining Award

Work-study is automatically accepted on the Financial Aid Offer; no action is required by students to accept the award.

To participate in the program, students need to apply and be hired for a position. Visit Student Employment to learn more about finding and applying to on-campus jobs!

Students who want to decline or reduce their work-study to make room in their budget for other types of aid (such as a private loan or Parent PLUS Loan) should reach out to their assigned financial aid counselor.

Award Amount

Students can find their award amounts in their financial aid offer letter.

Most students do not need to monitor their earnings from work-study. If a student exceeds their work-study award and is not eligible for an increase, they will be paid from institutional funding.

However, students who work for the Center for Community Engagement or approved off-campus employers must monitor their earnings, as work-study is the only source of funding available.


Work-study is earned through wages that are paid directly to the student for hours worked via a paycheck every two weeks. The money is not applied to the student account; a student may choose to make a payment with their earnings.

To use your work-study, you’ll need to find and apply to jobs on Handshake. There is no program to enroll in and receiving work-study in your financial aid package does not guarantee you a job, BUT there are lots of opportunities for work on-campus (and off-campus for those eligible) and we’re here to help you land one!

Jobs are posted all year as needed by on-campus employers with the heaviest hiring periods in late summer/early fall and spring. Students can apply at any time throughout the year, and incoming students can begin applying as soon as summer (or whichever quarter) before their arrival.

Visit Student Employment to learn more about finding and applying to on-campus jobs!

Students who receive a Federal/State Work-Study award in their Financial Aid package are eligible to earn their work-study award working with our off-campus partners through the WA State Work Study program. (Note: they’re also eligible to work on campus!)

Similar to on-campus jobs, opportunities with our off-campus partners have a student-first focus, are flexible, and help you apply classroom learning and gain relevant and transferable skills for a wide range of career paths. Additionally, you’ll get make connections with companies off-campus!

Find Off-Campus/State Work-Study Jobs on Handshake

To find Off-Campus/State Work-Study jobs using Handshake’s job search tool:

  • Log into your Handshake account
  • Click on “Jobs”
  • Select “All Filters”
  • Scroll down, find, and select “Labeled by your school.” Then type Off-campus/state work study into the Search bar.
  • This will populate a current list of current off-campus/state job opportunities.

Please Note: Off-campus employers may require documentation of your eligibility for State Work-Study. You can verify your status by generating and downloading a Work-Study Authorization Form.


Access student employment resources by logging in to Redhawk Hub.

Questions about Student Employment

Learn More about job opportunities, how to get a job, and more by visiting the Student Employment website.

Three students listening to a presentation at the MIT Equity Showcase

Contact Us

Questions about Work-Study?

Student Financial Services