Federal Work-Study is a federally funded program that enables you to earn money for college costs through part-time employment. The program pays a portion of your wages which allows the campus to provide more work opportunities on and off-campus to students. The program also allows you 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. You will need to apply for and be hired into a position. You must have a Federal Work-Study job to earn the federal work-study money.
How It Works
All students who submit the FAFSA by the March 2 priority deadline and meet eligibility requirements for Federal Student Aid are automatically considered for Federal Work-Study.
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, you must meet all of the following criteria:
- Be enrolled full time
- Maintain satisfactory academic progress
- Satisfy verification requirements, if applicable
Work-Study wages are earned through bi-weekly paychecks and do not appear on your university MyBill. Students who receive a Federal Work-Study financial aid award may apply for the Work-Study jobs listed on Handshake (some jobs are only available to students with a Work-Study award). You may earn wages up to the amount listed on their financial aid award notice.
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 Handshake to browse job listings and apply.