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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. Please be aware that work-study is limited based on federal and institutional funding for the academic year.

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) (or if eligible under DACA and file your CA Dream Act Application) 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 loans, the renewal Cal Grant, and for FAFSA filers the Federal Pell Grant.

    For interested DACA eligible students please contact the FAS directly.

  2. Submit documents requested by the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office before May 1 for Continuing Students and June 15 for New First-year and Transfer Students.

  3. For FAFSA filers check for work-study awards in your award offer and online using the Financial Aid tool. For eligible DACA students work-study awards once posted are also available through 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 offer. 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 or CA Dream Act Application.