Work-Study and Student Employment

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’s Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). 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 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.

  • Learn more about getting hired for an on-campus job here.
  • State Work-Study eligible students who are interested in working off campus can learn more here.

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 are awarded up to $5,000 per year depending on their financial need.

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.