Work-Study and Jobs

Graduate - Work-study

What is work study?

Work-Study is a need-based form of Financial Aid that you earn through on or off-campus employment and receive in the form of a paycheck. The intent of the Work-Study Program is to encourage part-time employment and reduce the amount of loan debt incurred while attending college. Work-Study does so by paying a portion of your salary thus making it more advantageous for an employer to hire you. Lastly, any earnings you make under work-study do not count against your aid eligibility when filling out next year’s FAFSA. If you are a “financially need eligible” graduate student, federal work-study is available for you to complete part-time paid internships, community service, research projects, or other endeavors closely related to your academic degree program. If you are a graduate student working on a research project in your discipline, you may also qualify for funding. You should not be employed as clerical assistants to departmental administrators and other functions not related to your graduate education.

Award Amounts

Graduate students who are eligible for work-study can find jobs under one of two programs:

Federal Work-Study Program award up to $2,000

When you receive your official Financial Aid Notification (FAN), you will need to request this award from the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office and then can begin looking for employment.


Graduate Work-Study Program award up to $15,000

The Graduate Work-Study Program provides federal work-study to graduate students with demonstrated need to complete part-time paid internships, community service, research projects, or other endeavors closely related to their academic degree program. Students can request a maximum of $15,000.  After you receive your official Financial Aid Notification (FAN), you must apply and be approved for a specific job by the Graduate Division-Fellowships & Financial Services. 

Student Eligibility

To participate in the Graduate Work-Study Program, you must meet the following conditions:

  • Complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by March 2nd.
  • EFC must be $12,000 or below.
  • Be a US Citizen or Permanent Resident. 
  • Identified as eligible for Graduate Work-Study. If you are, you will be notified via award letter to fill out an application.
  • Complete the GWSP Application participation request by the deadline for summer and/or academic year.
  • Maintain satisfactory academic progress.
  • Be enrolled half time (4 units) per quarter. If you are employed as Teaching Assistants/Associates/Fellows, Readers/Special Readers, Tutors/Remedial Tutors, or Graduate Student Researchers you must be enrolled in 12 units per quarter.
  • For summer appointments only: your must be enrolled during the summer and the preceding Fall term (due to federal guidelines). If you are not enrolled, the amount you earn will be deducted from next year’s financial aid eligibility.

Summer Appointments

Federal guidelines require enrollment during the summer. In the event that you are not enrolled, federal guidelines require the application of 'Summer Savings' and mandatory enrollment during the preceding Fall term. Summer Savings is an advancement of the academic year's funding; therefore your eligibility throughout the academic year will be impacted.

Example of Impact to Academic Year Eligibility
$32,000 Original Academic Year Financial Aid Eligibility
-$5,000 Reduction to Academic Year Financial Aid
$27,000 Revised Academic Year Financial Aid Eligibility

Academic Year Appointments

You must be enrolled at least half time ( 4 units) to maintain eligibility. Any appointments greater than 50% must be approved by Graduate Division and Financial aid and Scholarships.

Application Process

The UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarship office is responsible for determining your financial need and eligibility for Federal Work-Study funds. The following briefly describes the application process:

  • You submit a completed Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) online. The priority filing deadline is March 2nd to be considered for Work-Study funds in the following academic year.
  • The award letter notifies you of your eligibility. You must select the link provided on your award letter to confirm interest in GWSP.
  • Search for a job at the Online Work-Study Job Bulletin (WSJB). If a position is not available or does not match your graduate field of study, you can seek out potential employers to participate in GWSP and have them post a position that meets your needs. You are responsible for contacting potential employers and arranging job interviews.
  • Complete the GWSP application participation request. Participation applications must be submitted by the deadlines for summer and the academic year.
  • You and the Department must submit the GWSP participation request to Graduate Fellowships and Financial Services Office (1228 Murphy Hall) for initial review and processing. Please make sure the form is completed in its entirety and is correct, if not it will result in processing delays.
  • After approval by Graduate Fellowships and Financial Services, the application is forwarded to the Financial Aid and Scholarships office for verification and final approval. Once approved, you will receive an approval notification from Financial Aid and Scholarships.
  • Once approved, you notify your On-Campus employer or Off-Campus employer to retrieve your work study referral form from the Work Study Employer’s website to initiate the formal hiring process.
  • The employer must complete and submit your Work Study referral form on the Work Study Employer’s website every academic year and/or summer you are awarded work study. The work study referral form serves as a confirmation to the employer that you are eligible to work under the work-study program.


Off-Campus Hiring Paperwork Process:

  • Once you accept the work study award, your hiring paperwork will be available on MyUCLA under the Work Study Job Search within 24 hours. Please follow the instructions to download/upload the hiring paperwork.
  • You must present your hiring documents (view acceptable I-9 forms) and a voided check to the UCLA Financial Aid and Scholarships office. The Work Study office hours of operation are: Monday-Friday 9:00am-11:30am and 1:30pm-3:45pm.
  • Once all hiring paperwork is complete, Financial Aid and Scholarships will give your Off-Campus employer access to the online referral form. They will then be able to fill out and submit the referral form. 
  • You are authorized to begin working as of the date the hiring paperwork is completed

Permissible Working Hours

Work-Study students may work a maximum of 20 hours during the academic year. (The employer is responsible for 100% of hours worked in excess of 20 per week.) During winter and spring breaks, along with the summer period, students may work up to 40 hours per week. The employer must mentor, supervise and monitor the activities of student hires.