Work while you study

Work-study is money that students may earn by working a part time job. The program allows you to gain work experience and pay for a part of your educational expenses as you earn your award. Most jobs are on campus and departments are eager to hire students with work-study awards. Rather than receiving a check at the beginning of each quarter, students receive their work-study award as earnings from their job in the form of a payroll check.

Work-study funds come from the federal government as well as The Regents of the University of California and are awarded based on need.

How to Apply:

  • File the Free Application for Federal Student Aid FAFSA or the CA Dream Application.
  • You must file your aid application each year to continue to be considered for work-study.
  • Submit any additional documents requested by the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships by the deadline.
  • You must file the FAFSA / Dream Application by the March 2nd (with the exception for the 2024-2025 year, it will be March 4th) deadline each year to continue to be considered for work-study.
  • You must answer 'Yes' to the FAFSA / Dream Application question asking if you want to be considered for work-study.

Work-Study (Federal and University/Presidents)

Basic Eligibility Requirements

  • All full-time and half-time undergraduate students in a degree program
  • U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens
  • AB540-eligible students who also meet all DACA requirements can only qualify for Presidents Work-Study

How Awards are Determined

  • Based on financial eligibility.
  • Due to limited available funding, these awards are generally made to students with relatively low Expected Family Contributions (EFCs).
  • When awarding continuing students, preference is given to those students who have utilized their work-study award in the prior year.

Award Amounts

Annual amounts depend on financial need and other aid received.

Important Information about Work-Study Awards

  • The work-study program is based on your financial aid eligibility; the amount you may earn in the program is listed on your ”My Aid Award” page.”
  • You must be employed in a work-study position to receive your funds by way of a paycheck from your hiring department.
  • As a work-study recipient, you have the choice of obtaining a work-study job either on campus or off campus at a nonprofit agency.
  • Work-study employment is not available during the summer.
  • Your award is the maximum amount you can earn under the work-study program, regardless of the number of work-study positions you hold.
  • If you do not wish to utilize your work-study award, you may request to have it converted into a loan.
  • If you decline your work-study award, the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships may terminate it and offer the funds to another eligible student.
  • Work-study awards may not be extended from one academic year to the next.
  • Unspent work-study award balances may not be rolled over from one academic year to the next.