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Facts About Work-Study

Work-study is subsidized employment for eligible undergraduates. You earn this self-help financial aid, so you don't have to repay it. The state or federal government, your hiring department, and the work-study program share the cost of your earnings.

Work-study reduces your need for student loans, leaves you with less debt, and lets you explore careers while you gain work experience. Learn more about the benefits of working part-time.

Visit the Career Center's website to read more about using your work-study award.

To Apply for Work-Study

  1. File your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year by March 2 to be considered for work-study and the best types of other financial aid awards. You may still apply after March 2 for federal loans, the renewal Cal Grant, and Pell Grant.

  2. Submit documents requested by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office before May 1.

  3. Check for work-study awards in your award letter and online using the Financial Aid tool.

If You've Accepted a Work-Study Award

  • Browse work-study job listings online at Handshake, or visit the Career Center.

  • Consider a job in community service or a job related to your course of study.

  • If you already have a part-time campus job, ask your employer if you can keep it as a work-study employee.

  • Ask the Career Center to help you create a new work-study job with an on-campus department or off-campus nonprofit group.

After You're Hired

  • Work-study awards range from $600 to $2,800 depending on your job title and number of work hours.

  • You can earn up to the amount in your award letter. After that, ask your employer to consider using non-work-study funds so you can keep your job.

  • You can either receive checks every other week from your employer or have your paychecks deposited directly into your personal bank account.

  • Since, work-study awards don't go directly into your UC San Diego student account, you pay your fees, books, rent, transportation, and other expenses with checks you write.

  • Exclude your work-study income from next year's FAFSA calculation.