Federal Work Study

Federal Work-Study is a federally funded program that enables students to earn money for college costs through part-time employment. The program pays a portion of the student's wages which allows the campus to provide more work opportunities on and off-campus to students. The program also allows students to secure academic or career-oriented employment while providing essential services to the university and the community.  Students who work during the academic year can make a significant contribution toward meeting their college costs and prepare themselves for life after college as well.

Any earnings made under Federal Work-Study do not count against your aid eligibility when filling out the next year’s FAFSA. The Federal Work-Study award is not a guarantee of employment. Students will need to apply for and be hired into a position. A student must have a Federal Work-Study job to earn the federal work-study money. 

How It Works

Apply

All students who apply for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by the priority deadline of March 2 and meet eligibility requirements for Federal Student Aid are automatically considered for Federal Work-Study. 

Eligibility

All eligible students with remaining financial need, after all other student financial aid is taken into consideration, will be awarded Federal Work-Study.  Students not awarded Federal Work-Study who fall into one of the two categories below may submit a request for reconsideration:

  • A continuing UC Merced student who earned Federal Work-Study in the prior year and will be continuing in the same position.
  • An independent student who is not planning to borrow the full amount of student loans offered.

To be eligible to apply for a Work-Study position, students must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Students must accept their Work-Study award online at MyUCMerced portal
  • Be enrolled full time
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress
  • Satisfy verification requirements, if applicable

Earn

Work-Study wages are earned through bi-weekly paychecks and do not appear on the student's university MyBill. Students who receive a Federal Work-Study financial aid award may apply for the Work-Study jobs listed on the Center for Career & Professional Advancement website (some jobs are not available to students without Work-Study). Students may earn wages up to the amount listed on their financial aid award notice.

Benefits

Studies show that compared to students who do not work, students who work a modest number of hours per week will, on average:

  • have higher grade point averages;
  • graduate at a faster rate;
  • be less likely to drop out;
  • gain more job skills;
  • become better organized and manage their time better;
  • exposes students to more mentor-type relationships and increases interaction with "real world" people

Find a Work-Study Job

Visit the Center for Career and Professional Advancement (CCPA) to browse job listings and apply.